AT&T struck a long-expected deal to the naming rights to Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but team officials said its vision goes beyond that.
While not as big as Citigroup's 20-year, $20 million-a-year agreement for the naming rights to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, Stephen Jones, son of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, said the agreement allows the team and AT&T to work together on the technology end, according to the Dallas Morning News
The deal includes the team's 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, according to ESPN
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"This is about smartphones, pads, computers and technology,” said Stephen Jones. "We have targeted them from the get-go. This was not just about settling for a naming rights deal. … This is a bigger deal."
AT&T has had a significant sponsorship presence inside the $1.2 billion stadium since it opened in 2009. Speculation then was that the company would get its name on the $1.2 billion stadium, but the struggling economy hindered an agreement, according to the Morning News.
Cathy Coughlin, AT&T’s global marketing officer, told the newspaper there is "no grander stage to showcase" the company’s technology.
"We are a global company, but our home is Dallas," she at a press conference announced the naming rights. "This is a terrific opportunity to further integrate AT&T’s industry-leading mobile technology with the premier sports and entertainment venue to create a world-class fan experience."
AT&T already had the naming rights to the Cotton Bowl Classic, which moved to Dallas Cowboys Stadium in 2010.
ESPN reported that sources close told the sports network that the deal between the Cowboys and AT&T fall somewhere between $17 million and $19 million per year.
The City of Arlington will receive five percent of the naming right's action annually, Mayor Robert Cluck told ESPN. Cluck said the revenue will help 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.
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