H&A’s David Hickey quoted on promotion of Jacksonville region in London

H&A’s Senior Manager of Europe, David Hickey, was recently quoted in a Trade and Florida Times-Union article on the Jacksonville region’s economic development promotion activities in London. Hickey, who is currently leading H&A’s European expansion efforts, discussed the great opportunity the region has for international promotion in coordination with the Jacksonville Jaguars, an NFL franchise scheduled to participate over the next four seasons in the NFL’s International Series at London’s Wembley Stadium.

“It’s exciting for the Jacksonville region to be able to use this platform to showcase what Jacksonville has to offer,” he said. “They were on a platform that they didn’t have before, utilizing the Jaguars and NFL football to have an opportunity to be in London.”

The full article is below. To view the article on the Florida Times-Union website, please click the following link: City business leaders follow game plan for London, but results won’t show right away.

City business leaders follow game plan for London, but results won’t show right away

Oct 26, 2013

By: Andrew Pantazi

Maybe London will offer success, hope, a future. Probably not for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ season, but maybe for the First Coast’s economy.

City and Chamber of Commerce executives have been meeting with business leaders in London this past week hoping that, regardless of how the Jaguars perform, the delegation will bring some success to Jacksonville, namely jobs.

They met with a solar-energy company from Ireland. They met with a “site-selection” company that helps businesses relocate. They met with an aviation company, a property company, a software company and Greencore, an Irish company that, according to Bloomberg News, “manufactures” more sandwiches than anyone in the world.

The Jacksonville delegation traveled across London to places like the Parliament, the Tower of London and inside the Churchill War Rooms, a bunker where the British prime minister led war efforts while London was under attack.

City Council President Bill Gulliford said from London on Friday: “Is it tough? Yes, we just don’t have the exposure. … We’re not Orlando, we’re not Miami, we’re not Fort Lauderdale, all those known names. But I think we’ve got a great opportunity.”

It could be months before it’s clear how well they did, but JAX Chamber President Daniel Davis said he thinks it was a success.

“We have corporate leaders here who are all singing off the same sheet of music,” he said. “We’re not going to rest.”

The next step is bringing the business leaders to Jacksonville, keeping contact, maybe traveling to London again, before next year’s game.


Mike Breen, a chamber official who works to bring overseas businesses to Jacksonville, said before the trip: “Our plans are, now, to coordinate with the Jaguars and to do this on an annual basis. We travel for these kinds of missions to Europe and Asia, but the ability to tie it in with an event like this gives it even more value.”

He pointed out that French-based battery manufacturer Saft and Brazilian-based aircraft manufacturer Embraer are examples of companies that created jobs in Jacksonville because of trips like this.

“We identify companies that are considering establishing or locating in the United States in the next three years,” he said.

Before he left for London, Gulliford said he was going to sell the city for its climate and its business-friendly atmosphere.

“It’s getting pretty crowded. Jacksonville’s a little different environment than the rest of Florida. It’s got a laid-back appeal.”

Trips like these offer “a hook,” as John Woodward, director of foreign investment at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, called it. The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks play in London on Jan. 16, and the Atlanta Falcons NFL team will play in London next fall. “Your city name is going to be right on the building, same with us with the Atlanta Hawks. That exposure and that messaging … raises awareness.”

While in London, Davis said he was riding in a taxi when he came across a group of fans dressed in teal and black, shouting into a bullhorn, “promoting the city of Jacksonville.”

“And I roll down the window,” he said, “and I shout, ‘Go Jags.’ ”


Bookmakers list the San Francisco 49ers as 16- or 17-point favorites over the Jaguars, but Jaguars President Mark Lamping said earlier that London offers not only the city, but the team a chance at making money.

“London will certainly generate significantly more revenue than if we played that game here in Jacksonville,” he said. “It also creates an awareness of the team and the community.”

Lamping said the team is still focused on what he calls the “core market,” the counties surrounding Jacksonville plus Central Florida and South Georgia, but the NFL cut a special deal with the Jaguars. The team has special rights to British sponsorships (and money). At the beginning of 2013, the Jaguars assigned a full-time employee to London.

The NFL wants the Jaguars visiting London, Lamping said, because it answers a big question: Can the NFL expand to the United Kingdom?

“Can a team that has a very, very low following grow a fan base by being over there four years in a row?” Lamping said. If so, that helps the NFL decide “what the long-term plan is.”

Besides, if businesses create more jobs in Jacksonville, he said, that’s more people who can afford the Jaguars’ season tickets.

Daniel Dawson, spokesman for the chamber, said: “The football game is a great punctuation mark to the end of what’s going to be a very busy but very productive economic development visit.”


When the Jaguars compete against the San Francisco 49ers, the JAX Chamber won’t have to worry about competing with the San Francisco or Santa Clara chambers. Neither decided to make the trip.

“We’re really focused on the Super Bowl in 2016,” said Santa Clara chamber President Steve Van Dorn. Besides, he said, his area doesn’t need help bringing business in from Europe.

When the Minnesota Vikings played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 29, five tourism and economic development groups from the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas traveled to London at the same time as a group from Pittsburgh.

Mostly, Meet Minneapolis spokeswoman Kristen Montag said the tourism representatives met with travel agent groups to persuade Britons to visit. Minneapolis already has connections with the United Kingdom, she said.

The tourism groups paid to send Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman to London.

Jacksonville taxpayers are paying for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown’s, Gulliford’s and city economic development director Ted Carter’s travel. The plane and game tickets cost about $10,700, and hotels were estimated at $7,776. The total costs won’t be known until after the trip.

David Hickey, the head of European operations at Hickey and Associates, has hosted Pittsburgh’s and Minneapolis’ delegations — and now Jacksonville’s. He said they did well keeping on “one message.”

“It’s exciting for the Jacksonville region to be able to use this platform to showcase what Jacksonville has to offer,” he said. “They were on a platform that they didn’t have before, utilizing the Jaguars and NFL football to have an opportunity to be in London.”


On Friday, Gulliford said, “I’m one of these wild guys who could let his mind go crazy. If we can get some European business here, then maybe we can get a nonstop flight from here to London.”

The last time Jacksonville regularly offered nonstop flights to London was before Sept. 11, 2001.

“We are constantly looking at air-traffic development,” said Jacksonville Aviation Authority spokesman Michael Stewart. “It’s not a matter of selling the route. We have a pretty good handle on the number of people who travel from Jacksonville to international locations.”

The numbers just don’t support it, Stewart said.

After meeting with Deutsche Bank’s London leaders last week, Gulliford said he suspects they’ll bring more jobs to Jacksonville soon.

Deutsche Bank set up its American operations center in Jacksonville five years ago.

Brown, in a video after the meeting, said, “We’ve been well received, and I think we’re going to have a great opportunity to bring jobs to Jacksonville.”

Gulliford agreed.

“I think we will see some long-term results,” he said. “Everybody is on the same page. We’ve made a strong pitch to the community. We have some that are making arrangements to see us. One in December.”

H&A President featured at economic development conference

Jason Hickey, H&A’s President, was a featured speaker at today’s Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) 2013 Fall Conference. Being held at the Newport News Marriott at City Center, the annual VEDA Fall conference brought together an assortment of leaders from Virginia’s economic development community, including a number of key business representatives. According to the conference organizers, this year’s event focused on global best practices, defined strategies in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and offered a practical dialogue for local implementation in the pursuit of international projects.

Hickey first spoke to the conference attendees on current FDI trends into the United States. As the global leader in corporate site selection and public incentive advisory, Hickey discussed the developments he sees in the field with his clients and the ever-increasing interest in foreign investment into the United States. Later in the morning, Hickey moderated an exciting roundtable discussion titled, “The Corporate Investment Decision-making Process ”.

For more information on the event, please visit the VEDA website: VEDA Fall 2013 Fall Conference.

H&A Releases Oct 2013 Incentive Legislation Update

oct 2013 leg updateH&A released their newest installment of their highly anticipated incentive legislation update, a comprehensive review of new federal and state laws and regulations regarding public incentives and economic development policies. To access a copy of the H&A Legislative Update – Oct 2013 Edition, please click on the following link: H&A Legislative Update – Oct 2013 Edition.

Please join H&A for a complimentary webinar discussing the many new programs and policies covered in the H&A Incentive Legislation Update – Oct 2013 Edition. During the free webinar, participants will learn directly from H&A legislative and policy experts on the new laws and policy shifts in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

To register for the webinar on Thursday, October 24th at 1:00 PM ET, please click on the following link: Register Here.