The Dallas Cowboys are close to a deal that would name their new stadium, opening in 2009, “AT&T Field,” Mac Engel and Andrea Ahles report.
The Dallas Cowboys are in serious discussions with AT&T Corp. to name their new $1 billion stadium AT&T Field, according to a document obtained by the Star-Telegram. The deal would include “media rights,” which would allow the Cowboys and AT&T to almost exclusively distribute Cowboys content on local television, radio, Internet and wireless devices, according to the document. The dollar value and length of a potential deal were not specified.
Dallas Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels said the team does not have a naming-rights deal in place and declined to comment on specific negotiations. “Our organization has never had a naming-rights partner, and because of that, this is one of the most important things the Dallas Cowboys franchise has ever undertaken,” Daniels said. AT&T spokeswoman Sarah Andreani said the company could not comment on negotiations, but did say the company is regularly approached about naming rights. “Officially, we do not have a naming-rights agreement with the Cowboys,” she said.
Sports marketing experts have estimated that the Cowboys could generate $10 million to $18 million per year for a 30-year agreement. As part of the team’s lease with the city of Arlington, the city will receive 5 percent of any naming-rights deal, up to $500,000 a year.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is the chair of the NFL’s television committee, has made it no secret that he wants to expand the Cowboys’ revenues into electronic media. “Only an infinitesimal number of people will ever come to this stadium,” Jones said at a Texas Tech alumni event held at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas on Wednesday. “The millions that will know this stadium will have seen it by mass communications.”
In an ideal world, a stadium would be named for Tom Landry. But stadium naming rights are one of the few ways that an owner can generate revenue without sharing it with the rest of the League or the players, so “selling out” in this way just makes sense. Indeed, I’m shocked that Jones hasn’t renamed Texas Stadium in all these years; it may be that he’s contractually precluded.
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