The “Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex” was born 30 years ago. No, the region did not spring up like a mushroom overnight in 1972. Obviously, the cities of Dallas, Irving, Arlington and Fort Worth – and everything in between – already existed, but there was no sense of “region,” and therefore, no word or concept that defined the then, 8-county area. This fact was part of the impetus for the creation of the North Texas Commission, a regional non-profit consortium of businesses, cities, chambers, economic development entities and higher educational institutions.
After the North Texas Commission was created in 1971, one of it first challenges, in addition to marketing the proposed new “big” airport out in the middle of the North Texas prairie, was to “brand” the region that took definite shape when the DFW Airport became its central lynch pin. Suspecting an identity problem, NTC hired researchers to conduct a survey of 94 leading corporate executives outside the state who were asked to identify the “North Texas region.” Surprisingly, only 38 percent correctly identified the term as the region including Dallas/Fort Worth. Another 28 percent thought the term referred to the Panhandle or other Texas cities, and 34 percent said they didn’t know what it meant.
NTC’s original advertising committee hired a local ad agency to create a new name or brand for the region. They combined the words “metropolitan” and “complex” and came up with the term “Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.” NTC copyrighted the term in 1972, and the rest, as they say, is history. Thirty years later the term is in wide use by virtually every media source in the region and much of the rest of the world, is incorporated into the names of a myriad local businesses and is literally a household word. Today the term defines the now 12-county Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area. The brand equity of “Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex” is a real and continuing asset to the region.
The mission of the North Texas Commission is to enhance and promote the economic vitality and quality of life of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex by providing leadership and acting as the catalyst for regional cooperation.