SBJ/20090323/Forty Under 40

Jerry Jones Jr

Age: 39
Titles: Executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Education: B.A., Georgetown University, 1992; J.D., Southern Methodist, 1995
Family: Wife, Lori; children James, 3, and Mary Chambers, 2
Career: Associate, Godwin Pappas Ronquillo LLP, 1995; vice president and general counsel, Dallas Cowboys, 1996; president, Dallas Desperados, 2000; president, Dallas Cowboys Merchandising Ltd., 2001; named to current position in 2001.
Last vacation: Aspen, Colo.
Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Whats on your iPod? U2, Jimmy Buffett
Pet peeve: Waiting in long lines
Greatest achievement: My family
Greatest disappointment: None worth mentioning.
Fantasy job: I have it.
Executive you most admire: My dad
Business advice: The finest steel goes through the hottest furnace.

With much of the commercial inventory of the new Cowboys stadium sold months before its opening later this year, with the glaring exception of naming rights, one would think Jerry Jones Jr.’s overriding feeling would be relief. Actually, he says, there is sadness mixed in from the end of such a frenzied endeavor.

Jones Jr.
Dallas Cowboys

“Selling the stadium consumed our organization, our families, our lives,” said Jones, whose father, Jerry, owns the team. “I compare it to maybe what my wife went through after she had our baby. There is a little bit of postpartum.”

Perhaps Jones has inadvertently coined a new phrase for the industry: postpartum stadium depression.

“He’s locked up every single major sponsor category under a long-term deal for the Cowboys, with the exception of naming right,” said John Tatum, founder of Genesco, which handles marketing for several Cowboys sponsors. “I would say Jerry Jr. has ensured that the Cowboys ... are on sound financial footing.”

It wasn’t just stadium work for Jones in 2008. He helped structure the alliance with the New York Yankees to create a joint concessionaire, tying together perhaps the top two brands in sports. But for Jones, last year will always be about selling the stadium, with its 300 suites (250 suites sold by mid-February), hanging video board and 15,000 club seats (again, 85 percent sold by mid-February).

“The excitement of having it completed and opening up those doors and having your first Cowboys game ... and all that work has come to an end, you can’t equal that feeling,” he said.

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