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The Dallas Cowboys topped Sportico’s NFL franchise valuations, released this week, at $6.92 billion, 29% ahead of the second-ranked New England Patriots. However, the Cowboys have had only four playoff wins over the past 25 years, which begs the question: How rich would America’s Team be if it were a winner?
While noting he would value a trophy above more income, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones tackled what a Super Bowl would mean for the team’s revenue at Sportico’s NFL Valuations 2021 event on Thursday. “We’ve used such numbers as 50% going forward,” Jones said during the event. “I think it has such an effect when you win a championship. We saw it when we first bought the team, how people get even more excited. They pull their Cowboys jerseys out of their drawers; they were closet Cowboys fans because we weren’t winning, and then you win and here they come.
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“That may be a little aggressive, but at the end of the day, there is no question winning championships, certainly, I think, affect your revenue and your long-term, in terms of people being willing to commit and be a partner with the Cowboys going forward,” he said.
The Cowboys are on track this season to be the first franchise in North American sports to generate $1 billion in annual revenue, joining global soccer giant FC Barcelona in an exclusive club. The Cowboys’ share of NFL media and sponsorship deals is worth an expected $340 million in 2021, and another $20 million is derived from their share of away gate receipts. Assuming a full season with fans, Sportico projects the Cowboys’ 2021 local revenue at $650 million, including merchandise business and non-NFL events at AT&T Stadium.
Jones’ “aggressive” estimate would mean at least $300 million in additional revenue for Dallas, a sum that by itself would be more than 28 of the NFL’s 32 teams are projected to generate in 2021.
The Cowboys have come a long way since Jerry Jones bought the team for $150 million in 1989. Back then, Dallas was losing $1 million a month, and beer sales were prohibited at their home venue, Texas Stadium—the ban was overturned in 1991. Jones revolutionized how NFL teams ran their businesses locally. The Cowboys made waves with stadium sponsorships; taking control of their merchandise business; launching a hospitality company; building AT&T Stadium; and opening its $1.5 billion practice facility and mixed-use development, known as The Star.
The team generates more than $200 million annually through sponsorships and $100 million-plus from premium seating at AT&T Stadium, which opened in 2009. The Cowboys announced a lucrative 10-year extension with Molson Coors this week, and the club is poised to benefit from a new NFL proposal to grant teams exclusive access to international markets. The Cowboys are eying Mexico, according to Stephen Jones.
The Cowboys kick off the NFL season Thursday night against Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Las Vegas is not banking on a sixth Super Bowl title in franchise history this season for the ‘Boys, with the latest odds at 30-1 and tied for 11th—the Kansas Chiefs (9-2) and Bucs (7-1) are the favorites.
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