Charlotte Jones-Anderson: "We Want People To Feel Like They Own A Part Of The Cowboys"

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sat down with Forbes and discussed the team from her point of view.

Charlotte Jones-Anderson has spent the entire tenure of her career with the Cowboys as the person in charge of growing the brand, in fact her official title is Chief Brand Officer. According to Mrs. Jones-Anderson, her father realized the significance of the Dallas Cowboys brand, and the importance of the blue star logo, from the very start of the Jones family involvement in the team.

"When I began work with the Cowboys, 23 years ago, my only instruction was 'You're in charge of the brand, and whatever you do, just don't tarnish the star.'" - Charlotte Jones-Anderson

While, to the average fan, Charlotte's brother Stephen may appear to be the most influential of the Jones children, thanks to his high profile involvement in running the football side of the organization; from a business point of view, it is the sister who actually wields the power. From a financial perspective, it is the brand that is most often a corporation's valuable asset on the balance sheet. In short, it can be argued the brand, and not the on-field product, puts the money in the owner's pockets.

In a statement that echoed her father, who during the season stated that he was not concerned with fan apathy due to the "good show" that the Cowboys are providing, Charlotte is more concerned with providing the fans with an entertainment experience. She notes that on the field success would make the challenge simpler, when the team is not winning it is harder to keep building the success of the Dallas Cowboys as a business organization.

When the team is not winning, Mrs. Jones-Anderson is fortunate that she has a "history" to fall back on. Since, as Charlotte admits, she cannot control the product that the Dallas Cowboys put out into the marketplace, the Chief Brand Officer is focused on selling what she calls a "Dallas Cowboys lifestyle". When the team is winning, it is easy to move the Romo- and Bryant-related products, but since sustained success is not a recent trend in Dallas, she must sell the past glory that is a part of America's Team. Charlotte Jones-Anderson is focused on marketing the whole package, and focused on selling the "mystique" that is the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, that mystique and how to benefit from it, is her primary challenge.

"You inherit such an incredible legacy of great tradition and great success. How do you take that and grow it, expand it? How do you grow that to be entertainment? We have always known that we are really entertainment, we're a respite from people's live."

In addition to selling the Cowboys legacy and what it means to those of us who have been addicted to the blue star for the majority of our lives, Jones-Anderson is also well aware that she is selling both an advertising opportunity and a fan "experience" inside AT&T Stadium. One of her primary duties within the organization is for her to continue to progress in both areas. The key for the Cowboys, as a business, is the way they respond to a pair of business questions.

How do you develop your partnerships with your corporate sponsors, and how does your fan engagement change over time?

The Jones family covers two areas for Cowboys success - the dollars and cents on a financial balance sheet, and the numbers on a box score. Sure they enjoy the momentary thrill that comes from a successful Sunday, but they are also business people, and they must also win by increasing revenue. They are not necessarily marketing football, they are marketing a lifestyle where, as Charlotte stated:

"We want people to feel like they own a part of the Cowboys and that they are equally invested as we are as owners, as an organization."

To achieve that feeling, the Jones family relies not only on the success/failure of the team, but on the perceived image that is the brand.

"It is a great spot to be in to go into every city that we travel [to], and we're the first most hated, but the second most loved, so you find that niche and we have fans all over...people will tell you what they think, and to your face, and we love that."

As much as other fans around the league may hate to admit it, the proof lies in the truth of what Jones-Anderson says. No matter where the Dallas Cowboys go around the league, home or away, they are the big show. While teams may rise and fall in the standings, one thing remains constant; the Dallas Cowboys remain "the biggest show" in the game, and that is thanks in part to the efforts of Jerry Jones daughter.

At the end of the day, as a business model, the Jones family does indeed have the "Secret Sauce."

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