We sell the brand ‘Dallas-Fort Worth’ worldwide — why not for events?

04/08/2014 6:35 PM

04/08/2014 6:36 PM

“North Texas” is a university.

“Dallas-Fort Worth” is the place to be.

Now that the Final Four is behind us, Dallas and Tarrant county business leaders should sit down again and talk about the best brand for our region.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is why we can host world and national events in the first place.

We’ve invested in building the third-busiest airport in the world, and that’s the flag we should fly.

We all win by branding those events “DFW” or “Dallas-Fort Worth.”

It took the brilliant Charles Barkley to say what we have all been thinking the last few days.

“ ‘North Texas,’ ” he said on Conan: “Isn’t that the stupidest thing you ever heard?

“When I jumped on the plane, I didn’t say I was going to ‘North Texas.’ ”

By all descriptions, the Final Four committee kept the weaker brand out of habit.

The label was a holdover from the 2011 Super Bowl, which used it for two decent reasons:

• To encourage more Collin and Denton county support.
• Because the National Football League doesn’t like hyphenated or abbreviated names.

The NFL had also promoted a “South Florida” Super Bowl. And 2016 will bring a “San Francisco Bay Area” Super Bowl.

“North Texas” was the NFL’s favored name.

It is not our name.

There is no reason for the Joneses, Arlington, Dallas or Fort Worth to keep it for other events.

Yet when the official announcement came Sunday about the 2015 Academy of Country Music concerts and awards in Arlington, it was headlined: “Academy of Country Music to Take Over North Texas.”

Arlington tourism spokeswoman Decima Cooper said Dallas is a partner in the event, providing the hotels and infrastructure to house the thousands who will come.

“There’s an agreement to call it ‘North Texas,’ ” she said, adding that after the Super Bowl, “the name just kind of stuck.”

Not to anyone else.

The name “Dallas-Fort Worth” dates to at least 1910 for highways, and it has been used to promote economic development since the 1940s.

One sticking point here: When regional business leaders met in 1971 to promote the new Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, they created the unified North Texas Commission.

Back then, Dallas Chamber of Commerce President Gar Laux told The Dallas Morning News that the group wanted to promote the “North Texas marketing area” against greater Houston.

But right away, the name failed.

In a 1971 survey, 62 percent of corporate executives nationwide either thought it meant Amarillo or had no idea.

So the commission hired an ad agency that coined the name “Southwest Metroplex,” which also didn’t stick.

It’s time to go back to the name printed on an average of 165,000 airline tickets every day worldwide.

Our past and future name is “Dallas-Fort Worth.”

About Bud Kennedy

Bud Kennedy

@budkennedy

Bud Kennedy is a homegrown Fort Worth guy who started out covering high school football here when he was 16. He went away to the Fort Worth Press and newspapers in Austin and Dallas, then came home in 1981.

Since 1987, he's written more than 1,000 weekly dining columns and more than 3,000 news and politics columns. If you don't like what he says about politics, read him on barbecue.

Email Bud at

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