OXNARD, California - When evil members of the media (there are no other types) break a story there is a prolonged period of worry that what you reported may not actually happen. When it finally does happen there is a giant, massive, enormous period of relief.
You can only imagine my elation when I learned that AT&T and the Dallas Cowboys are again in discussions on the naming rights of Cowboys Stadium.
I originally reported this story back on April 11, 2008!!!! - I knew this all along, when the stadium was still under construction. It only took five years. How did I originally find this story? Uhh ... cough-cough ... yeeeeeaaaaah ... let's not talk about that.
Along with Star-Telegram business reporter Andrea Ahles, she and I co-wrote a story on how the Cowboys were working with AT&T to name the facility, which according to documents included renaming roads and retaining all media distribution. At the time, the original document spelled out how Jerry Jones was going to retain all Cowboys related content to himself. This figured to be one of the most lucrative naming-rights deals in North American sports history.
Dallas Cowboys spokesperson Brett Daniels said that day: "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."
What happened? Not long after we broke this story, the economy went to the toilet and companies felt it was not the right time to throw money at sports venues while they were in the process of laying off thousands of employees. Jerry was not going to get the figure he wanted, so the franchise elected to go with the generic Cowboys Stadium.
There was no way he was going to skip out on this massive windfall. Just by waiting as long as he has, he lost out on several million.
Ahles and I wrote: "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."
Now, after five years, this deal looks like it may finally happen.
Never had any doubt.
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