The Dallas Cowboys have been huddling closer to gaming and esports for years. Now the organization is kicking off its own “Dallas Cowboys Game Time” gaming platform and community, in a collaboration with Toronto-based GameSquare.
Announced today, the platform will feature “always-on gaming programming, offering Dallas Cowboys fans and gamers nationwide an opportunity to connect, compete, and earn exclusive prizes.”
“The Dallas Cowboys have always been a forward-facing franchise with a commitment to develop new ways to reward fans through engaging experiences,” Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ COO and executive president, said in a statement. “Dallas Cowboys Game Time not only connects Cowboys fans through gaming, but also brings them closer to the team than ever before in a fun, new way.”
Cowboys and GameSquare are already on the same team—and Lenovo’s joining in too
The Cowboys and GameSquare are already on the same team, in a sense. GameSquare—a digital media, entertainment, and tech company that connects global brands with gaming and youth culture audiences—is backed by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Crescent Real Estate co-founder John Goff. In June 2021, GameSquare acquired Complexity Gaming, a leading esports franchise headquartered in the Lenovo Legion Esports Center at The Star in Frisco.
And Lenovo? The global tech powerhouse is part of this play, too—it’s officially “powering” the Dallas Cowboys Game Time platform. As the program’s first partner, Lenovo will provide Lenovo Legion gaming desktop computers for competitions and tournaments, the Cowboys said.
Lenovo, which is also the official hardware partner for the Cowboys, plans to collaborate with the organization on community engagements initiatives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, along with developing a program to support small businesses in the local community,
“Powered by Lenovo’s hardware technology, the Dallas Cowboys Game Time platform will be a first-of-its-kind gaming community connecting sports fans, gamers, and tech enthusiasts,” said Gerald Youngblood, Chief Marketing Officer, Lenovo North America. “Through our multi-year partnership with the Cowboys, our two leading brands will work together to enhance the fan experience, give back to the community, and reach new audiences.”
Seeing sports and gaming as converging
The Cowboys sees the world of sports and gaming as converging, and said its new Game Time platform will provide the organization with “an innovative way to grow multigenerational fandom. Featuring a robust slate of year-round content and competitions in fan-favorite game titles, the program rewards participants with priceless experiences, such as trips to future Super Bowls and opportunities to have a Dallas Cowboys team experience for a day.”
Kicking off on May 20 with a Fortnite tournament
The Cowboys’ Game Time platform is slated to kick off on May 20 with a Fortnite tournament. Whoever wins the tournament featuring the massively popular video game will get an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Las Vegas for the 2023 Super Bowl.
Justin Kenna, GameSquare’s CEO, sees the close linkage of real sports and esports as written in the stars. (And perhaps in The Star itself—GameSquare has said it eventually plans to move its HQ from Toronto to The Star in Frisco.)
“Gaming has fundamentally altered the way fans experience sports,” Kenna said in a statement. “Building upon our deep relationship with the Cowboys and Lenovo, we’ll leverage GameSquare’s capabilities to deliver immersive opportunities that expand the Cowboys’ digital presence and enrich the franchise’s fan engagement playbook.”
Four organizations go vertical for what they hope will be a big downfield play
GameSquare’s Gaming Community Network will manage tournament operations for the new venture, with competitions taking place on the Rival platform. With today’s announcement, all four organizations—the Cowboys, GameSquare, Complexity Gaming, and Lenovo—say they’re aiming for Dallas Cowboys Game Time “to cross-promote fandom, drive new revenue streams, and create unforgettable experiences.”
P.S., the NFL draft is just 10 days from today. If you thought Stephen Jones and the Cowboys were 100% laser-focused on their 26th pick in the first round above all other things, you may be surprised by today’s announcement. But then you’d be forgetting that the Dallas Cowboys is more than a team—it’s a business. This may just be another example of why the Cowboys organization is ranked by Forbes as being the world’s most valuable sports team, at an estimated $8 billion.
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