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Roger Staubach Company Bought For Value, Not Just Name

Roger Staubach
Roger Staubach

I consider Roger Staubach to be the most successful athlete-businessman of all-time. Why? Because he built a huge business in an area outside of the traditional sports-related businesses.

Earlier this week, the man who has all the credentials--Heisman Trophy winner, Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Hall of Famer, Super Bowl MVP--sold his commercial real estate firm, The Staubach Company, to Jones Lang Lasalle for $613 million. I sat down with Staubach and Jones Lang Lasalle CEO Colin Dyer.

Darren: When did it become less about your name and more about your business savvy and properties?

Staubach: I really feel that you know maybe 5 to 10 years in, when they saw the hard work the effort the commitment, when they really saw stability that I was committed to real estate. It's now been 37 years.

Darren: How much has your name helped you?

Staubach: I think the name, based on my college and professional career, helped us get in the door and you still have to get in the door to get your message out there, but I think it still takes time to know once you’re hired to do real estate it’s a significant responsibility. So they want to make sure that this is not just a marketing call and its one where you can deliver the services. I didn’t really want my name on the company when we first started. I figured we were going to be a Dallas real estate firm -- a small firm, like the firm I was with and so they talked me into the brand. Even today, running into younger people that don’t remember the old days, they say, “Oh yeah, you’re the real estate guy” so I really like to hear that and so the Staubach name has become a brand in this industry.

Darren: The real estate market is down. Why do this deal right now?

Colin Dyer: For us, it's about building our business for the medium term and indeed if you think about the short-term issues and the current market that we’re in, the most significant impact in real estate has been the impact of the lack of availability of credit in the markets. That’s affected the investment sales part of the international real estate services. The piece that is tenant representation and, the opposite of that, leasing has been so far comparatively unscathed by the market developments and we expect that in particular tenant representation, which is the strength of the Staubach organization, will be relatively immune from short-term market conditions. So for us it s a good short-term hedge, it’s a great long-term addition to our business and complementary to our existing global platform.

Darren: Are you going to keep the Staubach name on anything?

Dyer: The Staubach name will disappear from the organization. Why would we do that? Well, part of the motivation for Roger and his team to join us was to be able to give his clients seamless services in the U.S. and seamless services globally. It's very odd to be doing that with two different cards, two different calling cards and so we agreed from the start was that the appropriate thing to do was to have everyone use the Jones Lang Lasalle name.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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