Thriving In Smaller Markets
The coworking industry has lent itself to professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. From designers and freelance writers, to entrepreneurs and large corporations, coworking spaces have become a haven for businesses that crave both flexibility and access to a more meaningful professional network. The Dallas Cowboys (yes, the football team), its fans and associates have felt this need just like other successful businesses.
Jerry Jones Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for one of the most successful sports franchises in history, was kind enough to sit down with CoworkingResources for a brief interview about Formation, their newly opened coworking space located on the Star campus in Frisco, Texas. Jerry Jr. gave us some useful insights into how the Jones Family and the team first became interested in the coworking industry and how they went about applying their extensive business acumen to a workspace that embodies the Cowboys culture and provides a unique experience for members.
How did you go about identifying the need for a coworking space in The Star?
Since its grand opening in 2016, The Star has been about providing our community with a great place to live, work and play “the Cowboys Way.” Formation was inspired by our Cowboys Headquarters move to The Star a few years ago. The aesthetic, amenities, and accessibility to fitness, entertainment and business innovations that we are surrounded by daily led us to consider how other entrepreneurs and executives could also benefit from similar access and inspiration in their own business pursuits. We are thrilled with how Formation turned out and love spending time in the space and with our members. In fact, I’ve come to enjoy hosting meetings in Formation just as much as in our world headquarters boardroom.
What attracted the Jones Family (and the Dallas Cowboys) to the coworking industry?
Getting involved with the coworking industry was an easy decision. Our family has always had a passion for entrepreneurship and business, and the Dallas Cowboys organization has been built on those things which have had a profound impact on our success. With Formation, we hope to help foster these same successes with everyone from entrepreneurs to CEOs of up and coming businesses.
The amenities that Formation offers are extensive. Was this done to differentiate the spaces from other coworking spaces in the area and how did you go about identifying these features for your members?
Yes, Formation has a very unique edge being directly connected to the Cowboys, our family and The Star, and we leaned heavily into that to stand out from other spaces. It’s easy to create a general workspace, but designing something with purpose, with an authentic feeling is what makes it special, and that’s what people really want.
The design of Formation was influenced by our new Cowboys Headquarters at The Star. It features beautiful floor-to-ceiling views, real Dallas Cowboys artifacts, conference rooms named for notable formations in Cowboys history, a library-inspired common area, and bookshelves filled with literature on business, sports, architecture, and art.
We also knew the amenities had to be meaningful, recognizing the Cowboys connection was imperative. One of the simplest benefits is that Formation is located next to more than 30 restaurants and shops, as well as steps away from fitness, entertainment and business innovations. Members also have special access to presales for select AT&T Stadium and Ford Center events, and unique members-only events created by Dallas Cowboys staff with opportunities to hear from in-house experts. There are many other particularly unique membership perks, like professional headshots from a team photographer, an on-site barista, notary services, lunch delivery from the team chef – the list goes on!
Our members are truly embracing the space as their own and have a strong sense of ownership and pride – it’s not uncommon to see them touring their friends and guests, introducing them to the staff and detailing the stories behind conference room names.
Why do you think Dallas (as opposed to other cities in Texas) is such a good hub for coworking?
Urban centricity and convenience are essential for a successful coworking location, and Formation is well placed in the booming, accessible Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. When we were building the 91-acre Star campus, we knew Frisco was the ideal place to be, given that it is one of the fastest growing suburbs in Texas and in the U.S. overall. The area is consistently at the top of lists each year for best places to live, career opportunities, diversity and continues to build and attract new businesses, families, and developments. When you compound that with the incredible campus and the tie to the Cowboys team, Formation is unprecedented.
Many people choose coworking because of the tight-knit community that is developed and increased opportunities for networking. How is Formation developing and curating its members to highlight community culture?
Exactly, and we’re already seeing our members form great relationships to help one another solve business challenges for everything from staffing needs to content creation. We designed our open workspaces for maximum flexibility and connectivity with others, and we provide many ongoing opportunities for relationship-building like weekly happy hours, monthly network huddles, a monthly series called “The Cowboys Way” in which our front office executives share professional insights, and periodic keynote addresses for members. We also have an online member system with individual profiles that allows people to connect with one another based on interests, business needs and more.
In addition to the increased networking opportunities, Formation’s open workspaces offer an elevated level of hospitality that is truly unmatched in this market. We’ve also found that these workspaces are well-liked by any level of professional – from an entrepreneur just starting out to a seasoned CEO. The notion of needing a “corner office” doesn’t apply here because of how professional and well laid out the space truly is. Formation has eliminated the need for a private office and introduced professionals to new ideas of working that are effective at any level.
Where do you see Formation going in the next 5 years? Any plans to expand into other coworking hubs or is the goal to keep the brand exclusive to Frisco?
Right now, we’re focused on the community being built up at The Star but can’t dismiss the idea of other locations in the future. Our family is extremely proud of how Formation has developed and between its membership community and the physical space, it has become one of the things I’m most proud of at The Star.
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