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Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys: The business of branding

James Nurton, Dallas

When Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise in 1989, the first thing he did was identify what he could monetize. “It was the brand,” he said yesterday in a keynote address at the INTA Annual Meeting. “You take the passion, tradition, entertainment value and visibility and go to town with the brand.”

At the time, he said, "Dallas was down": buildings were empty and times were hard. But Jones had made money—lots of money—in oil and gas and had a lifelong love of football. It was while on a fishing trip in Mexico, suffering from "a tequila-induced hangover" that he picked up the phone and offered to buy the franchise.

Thus began a process that...

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