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Dallas Cowboys Selected by NFL for International Marketing Rights


Dallas Cowboys NFL team. | Image from Dallas Cowboys

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The NFL announced on December 15 that eighteen teams have been selected for marketing rights programs in several countries around the world. The Dallas Cowboys (along with several other teams) will hold rights in Mexico.

In all, nineteen teams submitted twenty-eight applications for rights by September 30, 2021. Results had been expected last year but were delayed.

The agreement means the Dallas Cowboys will host media events, youth football activities, corporate and merchandise sales, and have direct marketing rights. The deal is part of the NFL’s International Home Marketing Areas program. The goal is eventually to expand the NFL into an international league.

“NFL fandom begins with our clubs,” NFL Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Christopher Halpin said via the NFL website.

“This important initiative enables NFL teams to develop meaningful, direct relationships with NFL fans abroad, driving fan growth and avidity globally. We were very pleased with the number, creativity and level of commitment of club proposals across the board in this initial application period and look forward to teams launching their efforts early next year.”

The NFL selected teams based on numerous factors that include the team’s fanbase in the region, the ability of the team to meet obligations and fulfill agreements, and how much money the team was willing to spend.

For three years, teams will retain the income from international markets, after which proceeds will be shared with the league.

“With this announcement, the NFL has opened the door for the Dallas Cowboys to connect more directly with our strongest international fan base in the world in Mexico,” said Cowboys owner/GM and president Jerry Jones on the team website.

“We have a deep appreciation for our fans in Mexico, as their passion for the Cowboys has been felt from our preseason games played in both Mexico City (three times) and Monterrey (once).

“We’re always looking for ways to enhance engagement with our fans in Mexico and are grateful the League has recognized that the Cowboys are uniquely positioned to help grow the game of football in Mexico while growing our community of Cowboys fans.”

The Cowboys have a long history of engaging with audiences in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. The new licensing agreement is a significant step toward an international regular-season game for the Cowboys in Mexico. The Cowboys played an exhibition match in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City in 1994 that drew an NFL-record attendance of 112,376.

The NFL began playing internationally in 2005. Most games were played in the U.K., but Azteca Stadium has hosted games in several seasons.

The IHMA project hopes to expand games to Canada, Germany, and perhaps even Australia, China, Spain, and Brazil. The league anticipates playing a match in Germany in either the ’22 or ’23 season.

Mexico was the most desired market area for NFL teams, with nine teams winning proposals. The teams with rights in Mexico are the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers.

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