"Welcome to AT&T Stadium": Jerry Jones Finally Sells His Stadium's Naming Rights

Categories: Sports

CowboysStadiumLake.jpg
Flickr user bobbyh_80
The name "Cowboys Stadium" is everything the structure itself is not: concise, blandly functional, lacking in imagination, panache and, most notably, a high-dollar corporate sheen.

There was never any chance that it was going to last, despite Jerry Jones' protestations to the contrary. Today, it's officially gone.

In its place: AT&T Stadium, Home of the Dallas Cowboys. (Insert hilarious dropped call/missed signal jokes here).

"I've often been told that this stadium reminds some of a cell phone," Jones said at a press conference today explaining the move.

Jones touted some improvements for fans. The deal brings an expanded in-stadium cell phone network, better Wi-Fi and way-finding apps for smartphones. The big winner here, though, is clearly Jones. He wouldn't put a dollar figure on the deal, other than to say that it's not the largest ever, which still leaves a considerable amount of room for profit.

The real question is why he didn't sell naming rights earlier. Although the finances of this deal weren't disclosed, these deals are absurdly lucrative. It stands to reason that Jones could have started making money right away. That's what Business Insider was getting at in a 2010 piece reporting that the Cowboys' dithering had already cost the team $15 million.

In retrospect, such a critique is laughable. The analyst who made that estimate based it on the assumption that a Cowboys Stadium naming rights deal would bring in $7 to $10 million per year. Since that article was written, multiple deals have been signed that blow that figure out of the water. The New York Jets and Giants are getting $17 million or so on MetLife Stadium, while Citigroup is paying the Mets $20 million for the dubious honor of being associated with their ballpark.

In November, Forbes had a more informed take, quoting a Harvard professor and the author of a book on naming rights:

Jerry Jones would want to associate or affiliate with the highest end co-branding opportunity that streams not only across the stadium, but all other ventures. He is likely waiting for the "deal of the century." If I were in his shoes, I would also likely hold on and wait for just the right time, price and place in order to sell naming rights for Cowboys Stadium. People in sponsorship buy into sizzle and want to be associated with winning teams. The best option is to hold tight.

That's only part of the story. The other is that Jones has a compulsive need to upstage ridiculously adorable baby animals. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy had the scoop:

The zoo is rather chipper about the whole thing.

Her name is Belle.

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58 comments
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

" People in sponsorship buy into sizzle and want to be associated with winning teams."

So just why did AT&T purchase the naming rights?

muddystick
muddystick

The logical continuation of this whorish debacle is the renaming of The Ballpark in Arlington to AT&T Ballpark.

BTW, here's a suggestion for AT&T:  Buy the naming rights to Anthony Weiner's penis.  Can't you just see it - the AT&T logo tattooed on Weiner's junk!

mikeallen1965
mikeallen1965

A perfect marriage!

Overpriced mediocrity joins overpaid mediocrity! 

A match made in hell!

manpanties
manpanties

arlington sure likes some polished turds.  good for them.

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

Here's how the naming rights game works:

1. Jerry gets a boatload of cash for doing essentially nothing other than opening the door and allowing the workmen in to hang AT&T signs all over the place.

2. Executives at AT&T get complementary "sponsor" luxury suites where they and their families and friends get wined and dined.

3. AT&T subscribers (including me) pay for it.

Ah, isn't modern American capitalism great!!

OldmanK
OldmanK

I dub thee "The Cell Block" 

Linda Coleman
Linda Coleman

I've got a better idea for a product endorsement, which better reflects Jerry Jones' personality--Massengill. :)

Mikel Galicia
Mikel Galicia

So lets see... 24mbps divided by potentially 100,000 people = No Service.

Antonio Faienza
Antonio Faienza

I hate this so much. It will take time to get over. I hate you Jerry. Fuck at&t. Cowboys stadium only

Trey Pope
Trey Pope

Expect the instant replay feed to freeze at least 10 minutes on the Jumbotron, to be replaced with the Blue Screen of Death (to list five "common" reasons as to why the signal froze).

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Hell, let's just name everything after AT&T.  AT&T Dallas, AT&T Fort Worth, AT&T Texas....

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

The new ATT bundle package, dropped calls and dropped balls.  Interesting too that the City of Arlington gets 5% of the naming rights revenue

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

And AT&T Country Club. If they have enough property do they get a dedicated council person, just to augment the ones already purchased?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@MushMouth1 so, name me a company that doesnt get that.  They dont move to your city without it.  The City of Dallas gives handouts like its candy and they cant afford to

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz aww hell let me help you.  The city raised the tax rateto  fund $325 million of a stadium that ended up costing Jerry 1.2 billion.  So for a quarter of the cost of the stadium they invested in, they got the newest most high tech stadium in the world along with the 5th most valuable team in the world moved to the city.  Millions will visit the stadium and city and spend money in the city and will help pay the stadium bonds off early, just like they did with Rangers ballpark.  So in the scheme of things, its not that bad of a deal and the fact they now get 5% of the revenue from the naming rights to go straight to the general fund for the city to use, is a pretty good deal.  you want to see a bad stadium deal, go read about the Miami marlins new stadium

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

thats insane, proves my point to myrna though. they are spending that on a single use 18000 fan arena, Arlington got a 100000 seat multi use stadium for their money. I hope those citizens get a vote

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin Nice.  One hundred fifty homes were knocked down, their owners forced out with minimal compensation.  You are one little compassionate Prince, you are.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

@ScottsMerkin Here's another example fresh off the presses. Bankrupt Detroit has approved $284 million in taxpayer money to build a new arena for the Red Wings.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

also, didd 100,000 people even vote in the last dallas county elections?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

whats the real cost? $325mil plus the costs of eminent domain? they knocked down sone of the shittiest housing in arlington

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

@mavdog @ScottsMerkin 113,815 voted out of a population of 350,000 or so. It passed 62,901 vs 50,914. And put simply Jerry via Rob Allyn spend a boat-load of money to blur the real costs to taxpayers.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin I simply made a statement about how the city got bubkes from that farshtunkeneh macher.  Oy!  Such a deal!  A deal, a shmeal.......

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

so thats all you took from my comment? you obviously dont have a clue what u are talking about, which is why I asked that

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Seriously?  How, what could have been better?  No money to him?  JErry was getting some help from city, it  was just a matter of which one.  And arlington has shown that it is willing to shell out tax dollars to keep its entertainment district thriving year rouund.no they could not have, its literally the cheapest investment a city has made to build a new stadium in the current generation of building new stadiums.  As always, someone would have met his number and besides, the citiznes VOTED YES, Why should you care.  You didnt have a vote

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin Listen.  Arlington could have received a far better deal from that shrewd little gnome if they had more chutzpah.  Jones ended up giving them minimal benefits and very little say in his machinations.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@MushMouth1 Will never happen bc someone will always offer the welfare, unless we make a law that says its illegal to offer them.  I know id sure love a 10 year exemption on property taxes to be offered to me by a city to build a house there

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@MushMouth1 @ScottsMerkin 

The citizens voted approval of the stadium deal, so it is very hard to understand how your remark they "get screwed" has any validity.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

If Arlington got such a great deal, why is it that they never have a say in anything that happens with that monstrosity?

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

@ScottsMerkin Exactly the problem. Corporate whores get on city councils, zoning boards etc. and taxpayers get screwed. Never going to change as long as people keep electing them and saying every other city does it so we might as well too.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@casiepierce   $850,000-1.1mil a year for letting ATT put there name on the stadium really isnt "nothing"  

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @ScottsMerkin Any homeowner that goes to Cowboys games or any events at Cowboys Stadium comes out way better than I do living in North Richardson. That's why I'm pissed that Dallas or another 'burb couldn't step up and make it happen, but that's life. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Lets see, IH 30 got redone with additional exits and bridges and an HOV lane to help traffic.  Collins street got widened witha new bridge too as well as the same at Center street.  Lincoln Square has grown and multiple new bars and restaurants have come to the area.  Just a few of the improvements in the city the citizens got for voting yes

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin Yes, you do too.  You show me where the average homeowner in Arlington has received any decent return for that deal.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz no I dont, I know the story and the finances well.  When the deal was first announced, the city was on the hook for %50 of the cost when Jerry thought it was going to be a $700 million dollar stadium, but the city was smart to cap their cost where they did, regardless of over running the budget.  Now would you please show your work to me so that I can see how the city got snookered

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