Upcoming Conferences and Events
SBD/Issue 125/Sports Industrialists
Catching Up With.... Cowboys Exec VP Jerry Jones Jr.
Published March 12, 2010
|Jones Jr. Has Been At Forefront Of
Cowboys' Effort To Sell New Stadium
The '09 NFL season was marked by the opening of the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium as much as it was by anything that happened on the field. Cowboys Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer JERRY JONES JR., son of the team's owner, was at the forefront of the franchise's efforts to sell the new venue, including its 300 suites, 15,000 club seats and myriad sponsorship opportunities. Speaking to Editor-At-Large Terry Lefton during the recent NFL Consumer Products Summit in Arlington, Texas, Jones looked back at the stadium's first year and looked ahead to Super Bowl XLV, which will be played at Cowboys Stadium after the coming NFL season.
Q: What was the toughest part about opening the new stadium?
Jones: There are no [other] 3 million-square-foot buildings. Other venues shared best practices because, while we compete on the field, we really don't compete in the stadium business. But when it came down to operating the building, we had no real comparison. We're starting to get our arms around it. We had three or four events before our first football game, and that's why.
Q: A new football stadium in Texas is an anomaly, and the Cowboys have a few hundred commercial affiliates, but how are you reading the local economy a year after the meltdown?
Jones: We're sensitive to what all industries have gone through. I'd tell you that if some areas got hit the least, the Dallas market was one. A lot of the commitments that went into our stadium, whether they were sponsorships, seats or suites, were not looked at as short term. The decisions to make those commitments weren't easy then, but they saw the value and they went long term. ... Some of the local media buys were a little tougher. Automotive was difficult for us and everybody really, but that's rebounded a little.
Q: You won't really know the answer to this for a year, but I'm wondering if
hosting a Super Bowl helps sales overall, or if it's more of an intangible
Jones: Does having a Super Bowl commitment help you in building a new stadium and getting it financed? Unquestionably, yes. It's a flagship event, and knowing it was going to be played in our building's second season was and is certainly impactful and helpful as far as getting commitments for sponsorships and suites. Otherwise, I think it is more of an intangible. It creates excitement in the community and for our fans.
|Cowboys Stadium Will
Host Super Bowl XLV
Q: What has to happen in and around Super Bowl XLV for Dallas to become part of the regular rotation, like Miami or New Orleans?
Jones: It begins and ends with the fan experience. Tying together all the cities impacted has been quite an effort. We had one host committee meeting that 100 different mayors attended. The game experience is paramount, but just getting people around the Dallas, Arlington [and] Fort Worth areas will be important, too. Different people come to the Super Bowl for a week [or] a weekend, some just for a day. We have to be sure they all have a great experience. That's what we'll be judged on.
Q: Some industry people tell me there's no way the Cowboys will host a Super Bowl without a corporate name on the building. Is that true?
Jones: You want to do it when it's right for everybody. You will see a name on our stadium. When will that be? I don't have a time frame. That's something we take very seriously, so it won't be with just anybody. The name on the stadium will be as much a part of the brand as the Cowboys star and our silver and blue. We've got to meet our fan expectations there as well. It's something we want our fans to be proud of.