We continue with the Jerry Jones silver anniversary collection, our theme as we observe 25 years of Jerry’s ownership of the Dallas Cowboys.
Let’s focus our attention on one of Jerry’s offspring today, shall we?
Charlotte Jones Anderson has become more visible in recent years as her role with the team has become more prominent. She holds the title of executive vice president and is in charge of branding, which is not the same thing as it might have been when real cowboys dominated the Texas landscape. The stakes are much higher.
To say Charlotte and her family, Dad in particular, have been successful in branding their product would be among the grossest understatements one could conceive. Despite 17 years of mediocrity and football failure, despite having won but one playoff game since the last Super Bowl victory in 1995, the Dallas Cowboys are, per Forbes Magazine, the second most valuable sports franchise in the world with an estimated value of 2.1 billion.
Jerry bought the Cowboys franchise for a mere $140 million.
Charlotte Jones Anderson, one of the most influential and successful women in the professional sports business
On DallasCowboys.com, Ms. Jones’ bio reads as follows:
Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, oversees all strategies and applications surrounding the team’s brand as it is presented to fans world-wide. Working in the front office since 1989, Anderson’s experience has enabled her to become one of the most innovative and versatile front office executives among women in professional sports.
If you think about the fact that the Cowboys’ success on the field has been more in keeping with struggling franchises like the Cleveland Browns and (of late) the Oakland Raiders, it is pretty significant that the Cowboys can still lay claim to the controversial title, “America’s Team.”
Did you know that under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Union, the Cowboys are the only team allowed to market their own apparel?
The business of winning games may be in questionable hands, but the business of branding is pretty doggone healthy.
Especially when you throw in AT&T Stadium and all that it implies.
In an article titled “Ten things you may not know about Charlotte Jones Anderson,” the Dallas Morning News begins its list as follows:
Anderson was the first woman to chair one of the league’s ownership committees when she took over the newly formed NFL Foundation three months ago. The foundation focuses on youth football, safety and community engagement.
In addition to branding, Charlotte heads up the Jones family charities. All you have to do is watch the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and witness the annual kickoff of the Salvation Army kettle drive to witness the level of commitment and success enjoyed in these endeavors.
Charlotte Jones Anderson can communicate
One of the most frustrating/embarrassing/funny things about Jerry Jones is his crazy talk. The verbal gymnastics he performs in an interview can leave you breathless, dizzy, puzzled, and doubled over blowing snot bubbles.
Yesterday, Dunham and Miller (the Musers) of the Ticket, Dallas’ leading all-sports station, interviewed Ms. Anderson on the 25th anniversary of her father purchasing the team. It was the first time I had heard her speak at length…and I was blown away. The lady is witty, engaging, lucid, warm, believable… She is the absolute antithesis of her dad in that regard.
She was also, as any good daughter would be, defensive and protective of her father.
When asked about Jerry’s insistence on being so hands-on in the football operations and his refusal to hire a “football man” as general manager, she gave the following answer. I paraphrase here, but it is pretty close to an exact quote:
Most people do not realize that when Jerry bought the Dallas Cowboys, he went all in. He put it all on black. He risked everything. One does not do that and then turn the fortunes of the venture over to someone else, because no one had more invested or more to lose than him.
In a follow-up, one of the hosts asked how much of his fortune at the time was risked when Jerry bought the team.
The answer was one word:
She talked about how his lawyers and advisers told Jerry not to do the deal. It was a bad risk, they said. The Cowboys organization was hemorrhaging money to the tune of $30,000/day. In other words, they were losing $1 million per month. The fear was that he would not be able to make the team profitable, or at least not soon enough to avoid personal financial disaster.
So, excuse her if she sees her father as something more than a failed NFL general manager. Excuse her if she views him as a visionary willing to risk the good stuff in order to gain the great.
After their phone interview with Ms. Anderson, Gordon Keith of the Musers asked his cohosts, “Why is she not the family spokesperson?”