Several media outlets, including Fox Sports Southwest, reported this morning that the Dallas Cowboys were close to finalizing a deal with AT&T to rename JerryWorld with their corporate brand.
Our man in Oxnard (Tom Stephenson, a Dallas freelance writer who’s at the Cowboys training camp on assignment for D CEO) says the Cowboys’ Rich Dalrymple declined to comment on speculation about the naming rights. Tom adds the following:
Speculation is that this will prove to be the most lucrative naming-rights deal in sports history. In the past, Jones has said that the Cowboys “brand” was worth enough that he would move to a sponsor only “in the right way, with the right partner.”
Apparently that right partner has surfaced in the form of corporate giant AT&T. Although the Cowboys rank as Forbes’ most valuable NFL franchise, with an estimated worth north of $2 billion, there was speculation that Jones and the Cowboys were holding out hope that naming-rights value would increase with some playoff wins and maybe even a trip to the Super Bowl. However, that obviously has not happened, and the team has finished the last few seasons with rather plebeian records.
No word yet on the exact price or length of the deal. Still, talks have reportedly progressed to a point where the Mets’ $20 million a year from Citi will be in the Cowboys rear-view mirror, leaving only seven NFL teams not enjoying naming-rights moolah.
Team vice president Stephen Jones told the Morning News a little while ago that any talk of an AT&T deal is “premature.”
But it’s never too premature to start speculating on what the new name will be. Jerry Jones has said in the past that he wants “Cowboys” to remain part of the moniker even when they do close a naming rights deal. So, a few possibilities:
1. AT&T Cowboys Stadium
2. Jerry’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West Roundup Starring the Dallas Cowboys (ft. AT&T)
3. Dropped Call Stadium