October 5, 2023 | By: Marion Marketing

What Marketing Lessons Can We Learn from the Cotton Bowl?

The historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas holds a special place in college football lore. It has been the hallowed ground for the iconic Red River Rivalry since 1929.

Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners

The Red River Rivalry is an annual clash between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners. The game is a major highlight of the college football calendar and takes place during the State Fair of Texas, which is hosted at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. The rivalry is marked by intense competition, a sea of burnt orange and crimson, and the iconic Golden Hat trophy awarded to the victor. The Cotton Bowl’s unique atmosphere and its location straddling the Texas-Oklahoma border make it the perfect stage for this legendary showdown.

Beyond its football traditions, the Cotton Bowl Stadium has hosted numerous other sporting events, concerts, and entertainment spectacles over the years. With its classic architecture and capacity to hold thousands of enthusiastic fans, this iconic stadium continues to play a vital role in Texas sports and entertainment history. Whether it’s the roar of the crowd during a touchdown or the cheers of fans enjoying the State Fair, the Cotton Bowl Stadium remains a cherished symbol of Texas hospitality and sporting excellence.

Cotton Bowl

A Closer Look at the Cotton Bowl’s Marketing Success

The Cotton Bowl’s rich history and enduring popularity offer several valuable marketing lessons:

Tradition Matters

The Cotton Bowl’s ability to host iconic events like the Red River Rivalry and the State Fair is a testament to the enduring power of tradition in marketing. People are drawn to familiar and time-tested experiences. Brands that tap into tradition can build strong, lasting connections with their audience.

Much like the Cotton Bowl, brands that skillfully tap into tradition can forge strong and lasting connections with their audience. Statistics reveal the impact: Studies show that 71% of customers are likely to recommend a product or service based on their emotional connection. Tradition acts as a bridge between the past and the present, creating a sense of nostalgia and trust.

Location Is Key

The Cotton Bowl’s location during the State Fair of Texas is no accident. It’s strategically positioned to attract a massive audience. Similarly, businesses need to consider the location and context in which they promote their products or services. Being in the right place at the right time can make a significant impact.

Creating Experiences

The Cotton Bowl offers more than just football; it provides an experience. Businesses should aim to create memorable experiences for their customers. Whether it’s through exceptional customer service, engaging content, or unique events, businesses that prioritize experiences often stand out.

In fact, according to a study by PwC, 73% of consumers cite customer experience as a key factor in their purchasing decisions, and 42% are willing to pay more for a better experience.

Community Engagement

The Cotton Bowl Stadium is deeply ingrained in the Dallas community. Engaging with the locals and being a part of their traditions can build brand loyalty. Companies that actively participate in community events and support local causes can foster strong connections.


Despite its history, the Cotton Bowl has undergone renovations and upgrades to remain competitive. Similarly, businesses must adapt to changing market dynamics and customer preferences. Staying relevant often requires a willingness to evolve and innovate.


The Cotton Bowl has a compelling story that captivates fans year after year. Effective marketing often relies on storytelling to create emotional connections with customers. Sharing a brand’s story, values, and mission can resonate with audiences and build brand loyalty.

In essence, the Cotton Bowl’s enduring success demonstrates that marketing is more than just selling products or services; it’s about building relationships, creating experiences, and staying true to what makes a brand unique.

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About Marion Marketing

MARION is a full-service marketing agency. We partner with customers to either supplement their existing marketing department or serve as their full outsourced marketing department. Our areas of expertise include branding and graphic design, online marketing and traditional marketing.

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