The Kardashians are a huge brand that is now famous for being famous. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Kim Kardashian is worth $350 million. Not bad wealth at all for a person with no discernible talent like singing, dancing, or acting.
The Dallas Cowboys being compared to Kim Kardashian is a good thing.
One of the biggest keys to Kardashian’s wealth is her willingness to give unbelievable public access to private matters through reality television. The Cowboys are the same way.
The best example of America’s Team branding through the public is evident. All one must do to clearly see the Kardashian style of Cowboy branding is look at the public negotiations with All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliot, All-Pro lineman DeMarcus Lawrence, Pro-Bowl receiver Amari Cooper, and Pro-Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott. No team takes the ugly business side of hard bargaining to the public like the Cowboys.
Here are some public Kardashian-style statements from Executive Vice President Stephen Jones and General Manager Jerry Jones regarding the 2019 offseason contracts.
“The best way to describe negotiations is an impasse.” — Stephen Jones, regarding Lawrence
“You have the top two guys at the top, and I’m sure that’s why we’re struggling here a little bit. There’s a delta between the top two guys and where the rest of the edge rushers and pressure players have been paid up to this point.” — Stephen Jones, regarding difficult negotiations with Lawrence
“You don’t need a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl.” — Jerry Jones on Elliott’s holdout
“Dak Prescott deal must be team-friendly.” — Stephen Jones, regarding Prescott negotiations
“Team takes precedent, and I have the backbone to keep it that way.” — Jerry Jones, regarding overall negotiations
“Zeke who?” — Jerry Jones pretends to forget Elliottt after Tony Pollard’s impressive game
“The Cowboys sure won’t be market-setters for new contracts.” — Stephen Jones, regarding overall negotiations
“I think the market reset with Le’Veon.” — Stephen Jones, regarding negotiations with Elliott
“Do we want to make a deal with Dak? We certainly want to do that. But we’re not afraid to go another year.” — Stephen Jones, regarding Prescott negotiations
Every Kardashian reality television-style statement from the Jones family created a new profitable media cycle. The Kardashian style of staying public is excellent for Cowboy branding, public relations, advertising, and marketing. The Cowboy media machine is well-tuned and amazing to watch, but each public comment could have some drawbacks as well.
Six cons of Cowboys’ Kardashian-esque branding
- Distraction to football
- Could be bad for player moral
- Signals timing to competitors
- Signals to players seeking future contracts to play hardball
- Could split the fanbase and cause added animosity to players
- Could damage the public brand of key players
While Stephen Jones was saying Prescott must take a team-friendly deal, the Philadelphia Eagles were working hard behind the scene on finishing out their contract talks with quarterback Carson Wentz. While the Joneses were publicly signaling doubt in all talks, the Los Angeles Rams were quietly rushing to get in front of any potentially-approaching Prescott deal with their extension of Jared Goff.
Imagine working your whole life for your first big contract in your dream job, and your boss is publicly taking shots at you for leverage and free advertising. Jerry Jones rolled out the genius “Zeke Who” line, and everyone was smiling. At the same time, there are a lot of fans still angry at Zeke for his necessary holdout, and how he was not branded as a team guy.
Some fans out of love and support for the Cowboys sided with the front office’s campaign claiming Elliot was not a team guy. As long as Jerry Jones runs this team, he will continue to walk and chew bubble gum. Jones will never stop mixing football and marketing. Both are passions for him, and he knows no grey area between the two.
Will the Cowboys’ best players have the mental toughness to overlook the Kardashian business tactics from the Cowboys? Real fans surely hope so.