Aug 31, 2017

The Cowboy Way // A Day in Dallas with Nike Football

When I was seven years old, I asked my mom for a Detroit Lions Barry Sanders jersey for my eighth birthday. Being from Michigan and getting into football through watching it with my dad and running routes with him in the backyard, it wouldn’t be my first love like basketball but it would be the sport I’d play and learn to love through my school years.

So on February 2nd, 1996 it was finally here, the birthday gift that would set off a love of a new sport and a fire ‘fit to my Montessori classroom come February 3rd: a Barry Sanders Lions jersey.

But it wasn’t.

A lawyer by trade and an artist at heart, my mom loved her kids and even loved clothes, but she wasn’t on traditional team sports like that. The gift in the box? A Deion Sanders Dallas Cowboys jersey. It would become a blessing in disguise as I could rock it to school with my friend Dash in his Emmitt Smith jersey and relate to Primetime through his flash and charisma.

By accident or fate, I was a Cowboys fan.

Picking up the nickname ‘Tex’ for my southern accent in sixth grade football, the game would become a love of mine and via an internship at Nice Kicks during my college career at Michigan State (thank God, for that) the kid called Tex would make the Lone Star State his home.

Landing just south of Cowboy country in Austin, the brashness of the fan base and heart with the Lions would turn me off the Dallas squad. They ain’t won a Super Bowl in fifteen years, why are they such a big deal?

Well, last Thursday I found out. Driving up to Dallas and taking part of Nike Football’s The Star Treatment I hopped on Jerry Jones’ private bus to find out what the Cowboy life was all about.

Led on a VIP tour of the Dallas Cowboys Frisco facilities that house the team’s stadium status practice field and on-site Nike Experience Fan Shop, we got the hospitality and history associated with the most talked about franchise in pro football. Guided by Dallas Ekin Roderick Rollins, a standout DB at Skyline high school, starter for Boston College and Chicago Bears draftee, the charismatic local has made the move from covering deep threats on the gridiron to tackling tale-telling in his hometown’s high school and professional football scene. On the bus, the group of local IG influencers and publishers hear about the Cowboys’ exclusive Nike deal signed by Jerry Jones back in the mid ’90s that would make the team its own entity and even pop up in my guy Primetime’s Diamond Turf TV campaigns.


Upon arrival at the team’s Frisco facilities, we’d get gear’d up at the Nike team shop — stocked with both exclusive Cowboys fan merch and performance gear, making it a true one off in the NFL just as Jerry would like it. From there we’d sit in on a live inner squad scrimmage open to the public, complete with practice play from Dez, Dak and Zeke to a capacity crowd cheering on and evaluating their home team as if it was the season opener.

Part practice facility, part spa, part museum, it’s clear the Cowboy way is all about the fans. Historic, efficient and pristine, their offices include the press conference platform for franchise higher ups, the war room where Draft Day deals are made and the practice field where legends are bred all within an arm’s reach of Blue Heaven for football fans.


Touring the facilities and getting the lay of the land, we hear the history of how the Cowboy’s became America’s Team by pull quote and how the team still wears seafoam green pants — not silver — because they looked better on TV in the ’90s. We casually see Coach Garrett conducting business while smiling and waving at us — not once but twice — as we hear about the franchise’s appreciation for art and honoring their legends. Better than that, they look after their future as their practice stadium houses four local high school teams that Nike outfits.

While all this is fun, if you know Nike events they’re about storytelling but more about sweat. Hitting the locker room, we get outfitted in everything from Metcon trainers to Flyknit shorts to check out the on-site weight room and hit the field for a football workout on the Cowboy practice turf.

Running cones and catching passes in the end zone, we get to test out the Nike Alpha Menace Elite while keeping our custom cleats complete with Twitter handle clean. A good sweat deserves a good dose of recover and self care, so we hit the spa zone for the NormaTec Pulse System muscle relief the players use and Cryotherapy straight out of Austin Powers. Yeah baby.

Educated and rejuvenated, it’s easy to see why Cowboys football is such a big deal to fans in Texas and from afar. It’s hard to imagine another franchise offering that much entertainment and engagement to their fan base or the media. Looking out for the local schools and treating their talent like royalty, Jerry Jones and Nike have combined their wealth and imagination for an inclusive experience unlike any other team.

Maybe these local football fans are onto something after all.

The Cowboy Way // A Day in Dallas with Nike Football

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