URIEL J. GARCIA,Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys announced a multi-year branding deal Thursday that will immediately change the name of billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium to AT&T Stadium.
An emotional Jerry Jones, the team’s owner and general manager, said he wants “this building to be more familiar than the White House.”
The name change for the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium takes effect immediately. Numerous signs outside and inside the stadium will be changed to reflect the name of the telecommunications giant based in nearby Dallas. Team officials declined to reveal terms of the deal, including cost and how many years are included.
The team says the deal includes access to AT&T mobile technology. The arrangement will double the stadium’s Wi-Fi network for faster mobile access and expand the options provided by the Cowboys’ mobile app. Both sides promise other mobile opportunities in the future.
The deal comes ahead of major events to be hosted by AT&T Stadium, including the 2014 NCAA men’s Final Four and in 2015 the first college football title game under a new playoff format.
Jones acknowledged the pact with AT&T is not “the most in dollars that there has been for naming rights.”
He didn’t refer to any other NFL team but the San Francisco 49ers in May announced a 20-year naming-rights agreement with Levi Strauss and Co. amounting to $220 million.
Team officials declined to reveal terms of the deal, including cost and how many years are included. Marc Ganis, a sports consultant with SportsCorp Ltd. in Chicago, estimated the deal could be worth as much as $20 million annually for 20 to 30 years, or from $400 million to $600 million.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, whose city is home to the complex, said Arlington each year will receive 5 percent of the revenue from the naming rights, declining to say just how much. He said the revenue will allow Arlington to pay off in 15 years the debt incurred to help build the stadium four years ago. Officials originally planned a 30-year debt package.
AT&T spokesman Larry Solomon said there are no plans to release the details of the agreement with the Cowboys. He said the telecom was eager to affix its name to the “premier sporting venue in the nation, if not the world.”
“It’s a terrific brand and marketing opportunity for us,” he said.
The Cowboys open the season Sept. 8 at home against the New York Giants.