Texas Longhorns Launch Branded Retail Energy Option
July 26, 2010
DALLAS -- The University of Texas Men's & Women's Athletics programs today announced a landmark sponsorship program with Dallas-based Branded Retail Energy Company to create Texas Longhorns Energy (TLE). TLE, to be powered by one of the nation's top retail electricity providers, Champion Energy Services, will provide 100 percent renewable energy to alumni and fans in deregulated regions of Texas. Each new customer account will generate funds for sustainability initiatives for UT and UT Athletics.
The new service will be officially launched mid-August. While final rates will be announced at that time, costs are expected to be in line with other renewable electricity rates currently in the market. Branded Retail Energy first approached UT with the concept through IMG College, the multimedia and sponsorship sales partner for UT Athletics. BRE presented the industry's first affinity marketing platform designed to activate alumni and sports fans' passion for the Longhorns. TLE will exclusively utilize the UT brand and marketing resources available through IMG College's contract with UT Athletics, which will result in cost-savings that would typically be spent on traditional marketing efforts. Those cost savings will help generate funding back to UT Athletics and the University.
"This truly is a revolutionary approach to energy marketing," said UT men's athletics director DeLoss Dodds. "Not only will Texas Longhorns Energy be powered through renewable green energy, but the University will receive credit and funding for each customer who joins. This revenue will help continue UT Athletics and University efforts and programs in sustainability, recycling and energy conservation."
Electricity has been deregulated in the state of Texas since 2002, providing residents and businesses in most areas of the state a choice of energy providers. While many energy companies spend millions of dollars on advertising and marketing, the success of Texas Longhorns Energy will be driven by UT's tremendous alumni and fan base and built-in marketing channels to communicate the benefits of membership to specific target customers.
Texas Longhorns Energy supports the mission of The University of Texas to educate the campus at large on conservation and sustainability initiatives. TLE plans to utilize the strength of outreach allowed by web portals and event-based activities to educate consumers on energy conservation and green power options and to assist with fund-raising in support of specific program initiatives. The University of Texas is dedicated to improving the long-term quality and regenerative capacity of the environmental, social and economic systems that support the University. "As a graduate of The University of Texas Red McCombs School of Business and as CEO of Champion Energy, I am honored to be in a leadership position to help bring this first-of-its kind program to university supporters," said Scott Fordham, president and CEO of Champion Energy Services. "I've been a 30-year supporter of the school, am on the Longhorn Foundation Advisory Council, and have been a life-long orangeblood. It's truly exciting to be part of this unique opportunity that benefits the school and its fans via a product that consumers need and use every day."
TLE will work with IMG College to develop unique opportunities and provide incentives for the company to use in marketing its services to UT fans. Customers who sign up to utilize TLE will receive a variety of consumer benefits designed to fuel their passion for the Longhorns. In addition, consumers living in regulated communities also will have an opportunity to support the University through TLE, with details being announced at the official launch in August.
"This branded energy venture is a new and exciting opportunity for the college market, and we are pleased to assist The University of Texas Athletics Department again show why they are a leader in college sports," stated Lawton Logan, senior vice president of collegiate properties, IMG College. "This program will give UT sports fans a unique way to integrate their passion for the Longhorns into their daily lives."