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Cowboys end naming rights search by connecting with AT&T

NFL American football franchise the Dallas Cowboys have confirmed that they have entered into a stadium naming rights partnership with telecommunications company AT&T.

The announcement was made on Thursday, but terms of the deal remained undisclosed. The Associated Press news agency said that the deal could be worth as much as $20m (€15.4m) annually for 20 to 30 years, or from $400m to $600m in total. ESPN said the deal is worth an average of $17-19m per year.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged the deal with AT&T is not “the most in dollars that there has been for naming rights.” However, the agreement is set to incorporate AT&T technology as the team outlined plans to create an “innovative, mobile-first experience for fans” at AT&T Stadium – building on the company’s 4G LTE network.

“Dallas is our home town, and we’re proud to expand our successful relationship with the Cowboys, one of the most visionary sports franchises around,” Cathy Coughlin, AT&T senior executive vice-president and global marketing officer, said.  “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.”

The name change for Cowboys Stadium, effective immediately, will be reflected in substantial signage updates throughout the upcoming football season, prominently featuring AT&T, both inside and outside of the stadium.

AT&T said that its plans for the partnership will initially include nearly doubling the capacity of the Wi-Fi network inside AT&T Stadium, in time for the Cowboys’ regular season. 

The Cowboys’ $1.2bn stadium opened four years ago but had remained under the Cowboys Stadium name as team officials struggled to broker a suitable deal amidst the economic downturn.