State Politics

UNT in talks to be exclusive higher education sponsor of Dallas Cowboys

File: One of hundreds of variations of UNT logos produced for various applications both spirit and academic. Photo taken on Wednesday, October 19, 2005. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Kelley Chinn)
File: One of hundreds of variations of UNT logos produced for various applications both spirit and academic. Photo taken on Wednesday, October 19, 2005. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Kelley Chinn) STAR-TELEGRAM/KELLEY CHINN

The University of North Texas may soon become an exclusive higher education sponsor of the Dallas Cowboys football team, an unusual deal that would include sponsorship opportunities and provide student internships at the team’s headquarters.

The framework for such an arrangement is laid out in a memo included in the meeting agenda for the UNT System Board of Regents. On Thursday and Friday, the board is expected to hold a meeting at which it will consider delegating authority to negotiate the details.

No price tag has been made public, but the memo said that cost is expected to be of “sufficient size,” to require the Board of Regents to sign off. According to UNT System rules, the board must approve of contracts worth $1 million or more.

According to the briefing material included in the meeting agenda, the agreement would allow UNT to call itself a “Proud Partner of the Dallas Cowboys.”

It would allow UNT to advertise at the team’s AT&T Stadium in Arlington, plus its soon-to-open practice facility and team headquarters in Frisco. The university might also advertise on the radio during Cowboys games, on the team’s website and on billboards.

UNT students may also get internships from the deal. The briefing proposed opportunities in “broadcast journalism, hospitality management, sports media and event management, and recreation events and sports management.” It didn’t mention how many internships would be provided.

“Marketing, data analytics, digital retailing and information technology are among future student programs under discussion,” the briefing reads.

The agreement would last multiple years, though its exact length wasn’t disclosed.

UNT, based in Denton, has just more than 36,000 students and, like several Texas schools, is trying to grow its status as a major research university.

It recently opened an off-site instructional facility in Frisco designed to serve working professionals in the Collin County area. Officials said in the briefing that the sponsorship deal will help “expand overall awareness” of UNT and the Frisco site in particular.

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