Since becoming owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League in December 2011, Shahid Khan – known as Shad – has captured the imagination and respect of the business and sports world in the United States and beyond. Khan arrived in the U.S. from Pakistan at age 16 to study engineering at the University of Illinois. He would land his first job at nearby auto supplier Flex-N-Gate, and after opening a competing business several years later would return to buy Flex-N-Gate and develop the company into a global leader with more than 52 plants and 16,000 employees around the world.
When first introduced as the Jaguars owner, Shad expressed a desire to extend the Jaguars and NFL brands in the UK and beyond, and in August 2012 made good on his word by joining NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as well as Jacksonville officials and community leaders to announce that the Jacksonville Jaguars would play one home game in Wembley Stadium for four consecutive seasons beginning this fall.
Meanwhile, Shad continues to invest generously in a multitude of excellent causes old and new, from major contributions over decades to his beloved University of Illinois to supporting military veterans, entrepreneurs, education and more in Jacksonville. His interest in people and community is one reason Shad was one of only seven individuals named by Commissioner Goodell in December to the newly created NFL Foundation, which is awarding more than $23 million in grants this year to support youth and high school football programs, health and safety efforts, and community health initiatives,
Shad’s inspirational story has been told over the past 18 months on U.S. network television, in leading publications such as Forbes magazine and in national newspapers including USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal. In 2013, Shad and Flex-N-Gate have received prestigious supplier awards from the top U.S. automakers – Chrysler, Ford and General Motors – marking the first time in FNG history to land honors from all three in the same year (and possibly a first for any supplier). And in May, Shad was given the honor of delivering the commencement speech to graduates at the University of Illinois, earning him recognition by Forbes and Bloomberg BusinessWeek for the memorable line, “My experience tells me the hard road is almost always the right road.” Today, that road has led him to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Craven Cottage, home to the Fulham Football Club.