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Why Cowboys Stadium Name Game Is Costing Millions In Lost Value

February 18, 2010: The cost to build Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas was estimated $1.1 billion. A naming rights deal also could have cost a company a Texas-size bank roll. But it never materialized before the venue opened this past June, due in large part to the challenges of the economy.

However, had a company coughed up the dough to Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and his investment partners, they could have realized more than $1.2 million in media exposure on Feb. 14, alone when the NBA All-Star Game played before an announced attendance of 108,713.

Although the figure is open to discussion, the math does put a frame on an otherwise nebulous arguement. The game aired on TNT, and a naming rights partner would have received $1,280,000 in media exposure through 15 verbal mentions, and 72 visual  exposures via signage, on-air graphics and other ancillary visual and verbal tags, according to Frontrow-marketing.com. Front Row based the figure partly on an estimated $175,000 for the cost of a 30-second spot.

The venue also received numerous on-air mentions throughout the All-Star Weekend, which included events such as the Sprite Slam Dunk contest at American Airlines Arena that also aired on TNT.

At one point, AT&T was said to have been in negotiations for a naming rights deal. Although the opportunity for a company did not materialize for the NBA All-Star Game, the Cowboys are often seen on national TV during the NFL season, which in 2010 will culminate with Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. During Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, Sun Life Financial, which in January signed a five-year naming rights deal valued at $38.5 million, received an estimated $26 million in media exposure on CBS for having its name on the venue in South Florida, according to Front Row.

Committee Host logo for Super Bowl XLV, which will be played at Cowboys Stadium.Although no one connected with Cowboys Stadium has ever publicly stated what it would cost to acquire naming rights, other high-end deals on sports venues include Citi Group's $400 million, 20-year deal for the New York Mets' Citi Field (expires in 2029); Reliant Energy's $300 million, 30-year deal for the Houston Texans' Reliant Stadium (expires in 2032); Barclay's 20-year, $200 million deal for the Brookyn arena that will be home to the NBA's Nets (currently scheduled to open for the 2011-12 season); and FedEx's 27-year, $207 million deal for the Washington Redskins' FedEx Field (expires 2025).

“A naming rights agreement for a venue as massive as Cowboys Stadium brings with it great brand awareness and a heightened level of exposure for the sponsor due to the grandeur of the stadium," said Eric Smallwood, vp-Project Management for Front Row Marketing Services. "By hosting events such as the 2010 NBA All-Star game, the venue continues to gain exposure, which is good news to any company that is willing to pay the price for the amount of exposure they would receive.”

Front Row Analytics is the evaluation division of Front Row Marketing Services, an industry leader in commercial rights sales and a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based sport and entertainment firm, Comcast-Spectacor.

Super Bowl XLIV Gives Sun Life $26M Reward For Naming Rights Deal

Sun Life Naming Rights Deal Shines Light On Super Bowl Stadium

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