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UNT paying $7.5 million over eight years in partnership with Dallas Cowboys

UNT paying $7.5 million over eight years in partnership with Dallas Cowboys

AT&T Stadium

UNT paying $7.5 million over eight years in partnership with Dallas Cowboys
November 16
12:33 2016

In August, UNT formed a partnership to become the official higher education partner of the Dallas Cowboys.

Recently, the Dallas Business Journal reported UNT is paying $7.5 million over eight years to hold that title. The contract expires on June 30, 2018, unless either side decides to opt out. The agreement will automatically renew for up to three additional two-year periods and has the potential to be active until 2024.

After the official announcement, the UNT brand was plastered around AT&T Stadium, The Star in Frisco and Cowboys games that were not broadcast nationally.

In August, UNT President Neal Smatresk said the partnership should bring a national-scale awareness to the university.

“It will give us very high-profile coverage,” Smatresk said. “We believe we’ll have broad exposure not just in this region, which is our primary region for student recruitment, but national exposure that we would probably have difficulty emulating by going out into traditional media markets.”

The deal came to fruition from a conversation with board of regents member Brint Ryan. Ryan had mutual connections with the Cowboys and got the university’s foot in the door.

Then Smatresk put the plan in motion.

Smatresk said in August he made sure the Cowboys knew he wanted this to be more than just an advertising partnership. With the Cowboys’ new world headquarters and practice facility, The Star, being just across the street from UNT’s Frisco campus, Smatresk wanted Cowboys officials in the classrooms.

This means more internships and opportunities for UNT students.

“Just the sponsorship part wouldn’t have been enough to turn my head,” Smatresk said. “It was being able to weave in one of the hottest sports businesses in the country to our educational program. I basically told them if we weren’t going to do that, I wasn’t interested in the relationship. They agreed.”

The Cowboys were named the most valuable sports franchise in the world according to Forbes in 2016. The university will be expected to pay over $1.28 million in 2016 to retain the partnership and will pay the Cowboys at least $200,000 every 4-10 months as long as the contract is active, per the Dallas Business Journal.

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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