“Unprecedented” is how Bill Priakos, President of Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Ltd., describes the advantages of locating at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The Cowboys design, manufacture and distribute team merchandise all under one roof. And, they are the only team in the world to use this unique structure to market directly to fans while serving every major retailer, more than 1,500 accounts, 35 Dallas Cowboys pro-shops, and online retail through shop.dallascowboys.com. All of this activity happens in their facility at DFW International Airport.
Prior to moving into the new facility in March 2010, the Cowboys were working in three separate buildings, which logistically proved to be problematic. The new facility at DFW International Airport boasts 360,000 sq. ft. of warehouse and 40,000 sq. ft. of office, retail, and showroom space. Priakos compared the facility to the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium because it provides the unique home field advantage they were seeking.
Since the move to the DFW facility, Dallas Cowboys Merchandising has realized a 26% increase in efficiency. Priakos said this increase is a direct result of consolidating the company’s operations into one location. The DFW Airport location, the close proximity to customs, and planes just a short distance away for next day deliveries also provide the remarkable advantage of speed to market. In addition to moving products, executives and clients who travel in from across the globe find the on-airport location exceptionally convenient. The facility is within a Foreign Trade Zone, which provides numerous tax benefits as well.
“We would not have gone anywhere but a Foreign Trade Zone,” said Priakos. DFW’s Foreign Trade Zone covers 2,500 acres of airport land, including the Dallas Cowboys Merchandising location in DFW’s International Commerce Park.
Because the business of merchandising ebbs and flows, Priakos noted that the DFW Airport location has contributed to the company’s flexibility requirements, which are based on demand. In the sports merchandising world, a single game can have a tremendous impact on the demand. Priakos said that sales for a particular player’s jersey can go from virtually nothing to over 300,000 in 60 days, which can severely strain the logistics network. The robust connectivity available at DFW Airport is key to being able to meet such an increased demand.
“It would be nearly impossible to handle without being on DFW Airport.” Priakos said. Dallas Cowboys Merchandising has 100 full-time employees, who work at DFW Airport every day, and who are among the 146,000 permanent employees that DFW Airport impacts annually. The company also has the ability to ramp up to four times that during the times of the year when demand increases.
“Dallas Cowboys Merchandising has been a great partner for DFW Airport. Besides being one of the most well-known brands throughout the world, the Dallas Cowboys, including the merchandising company, are tremendous supporters of the regional economy,” said John Terrell, Vice President Commercial Development. “We have worked on a number of projects with the Cowboys and look forward to more in the future.”