Friday, January 9, 2015
In the first week of 2015 and second round of NFL playoffs, Frisco, Texas-based Blue Star Payment Solutions heralded a Texas-sized value proposition that blends Bank of America Merchant Services with Dallas Cowboys fan incentives. At a time when all stakeholders on the payments value chain are being called upon to differentiate themselves in creative ways, Blue Star may have devised a winning strategy.
Texas area merchants will have a home team advantage during Blue Star's initial national launch. The new ISO's extended family of merchants enjoy automatic membership in the Dallas Cowboys United Fan Club, earning access to limited edition Cowboys merchandise, Cowboys-themed events, and ongoing eligibility in drawings to view Cowboys games, practices and training camp – at no extra cost to merchants, the company stated.
Blue Star President Jerry Mooty, nephew of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is a Founding Partner of McCathern | Mooty LLP (now McCathern PLLC) a law firm established in 1998 and led by Jones' attorney Levi McCathern. Mooty was the firms Managing Partner until 2012, at which time he stepped down to pursue other business interests while still serving clients of the firm. He is responsible for the overall direction of Blue Star, which he expects to bring "new ideas and approaches to a competitive industry."
BAMS, in a joint venture with First Data Corp., is among the top U.S. acquirers, having processed an estimated $850 billion in payments in 2014, or almost half of the payments processed through First Data, according to The Green Sheet's 2014 Acquirers Report. As a BAMS referral partner, Blue Star will offer payment card processing; mobile and e-commerce solutions; traditional and tablet POS options, including the Clover POS system; security and encryption products; working capital solutions; and various other BAMS value-added products and services.
Leveraging the merchant services platform is the latest development in Bank of America's longstanding relationship and corporate sponsorship of the Cowboys team, which began in 1993 with Dallas Cowboys Banking. Benefits include savings programs that automatically round up debit card purchases, matching contributions for new customers, and exclusive rewards program tied to Cowboys affinity programs. Cowboys' credit-card users can redeem points for game tickets, autographed memorabilia and merchandise, and VIP stadium tours.
Jerry Jones Jr., Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, stated in Blue Star's Jan. 6, 2014, press release that his organization is proud to partner with Blue Star and BAMS to offer "features and benefits never before seen in the credit card processing industry" that provide a new way for fans and business owners to connect with the Dallas Cowboys.
Following in the footsteps of Jerry Jones Sr., who guided the Cowboys to multiple Superbowl victories, Mooty strove to assemble a high-performance leadership team to manage the company's rollout that would build on the Jones family's heritage and emulate "a legacy of winning, success and bottom-line results with the biggest and the best in global sports, entertainment and business," he said.
Among Mooty's first picks for the Blue Star team are Vice President Lane Conner, a payments industry veteran with a record of sales leadership at such organizations as Century Payments Inc. (acquired by WorldPay US in 2013) and First American Payment Systems LP. Brad Woy, founder of CapRock Services and a payments industry executive with experience in a variety of industry verticals, will lead corporate strategy and development.
Blue Star's debut has garnered attention from industry competitors. J. Larry Daniels, President of Dallas-based Eagle Processing Systems, sees the new company as a "formidable competitor," particularly for ISOs who target small to midsize merchants. "I'm totally impressed with Blue Star's business model," Daniels said. "Leveraging the marketing engine of the Dallas Cowboys and providing fan club memberships to their merchants makes a compelling story. What a brilliant tie-in for the Cowboy-crazy, Lone Star state."
Mooty emphasized that Blue Star wants to continue the Dallas Cowboy's heritage of service "by extending bottom line discounts to our merchants as well as elite privileges based on the relationships that Jerry has built over the years." Blue Star will focus initially on Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio markets, with plans to expand into Oklahoma and New Mexico. However, Mooty noted that Blue Star can do business anywhere BAMS processes.
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