Chevrolet announced its plan Sept. 4 to release a UT-edition Silverado in October as a part of their long-standing partnership with UT Athletics.
Chevrolet’s product specialist Ben Reinke said Chevy wanted to make a special truck for Longhorn fans.
“The Chevy Silverado is a major part of Texas culture,” Reinke said. “The truck is not only popular among UT students and coaches but also embodies Texas as a whole.”
The University has over 20 corporate media and promotional sponsors, who all advertise heavily at UT sporting events. Christine Plonsky, director of UT women’s athletics, said Chevy is considered an integrated partner of Texas Athletics and is proving to be one of UT’s most significant sponsors.
Plonsky said she thinks Chevy’s new release of the sunset orange metallic Silverado could help to boost Chevy’s image within the University community.
“It takes a high level of commitment for a business to be able to call itself an ‘official sponsor,’” Plonsky said. “These partnerships are typically worth up to six or seven figures. Chevrolet has stepped up significantly with wanting to be a part of Texas athletics. They know the state of Texas is a huge market for this particular product.”
According to Plonsky, UT’s marketing team and fan base will play a large role in marketing the truck because of the collaborative nature of Chevy’s relationship with Texas athletics.
“We’re very much a part of these pitches,” Plonsky said. “We approve all the artwork you see, right down to the color. It’s a collaborative partnership. Every single dollar counts for us, and we’re very grateful for them believing in our enterprise and supporting Longhorn sports.”
Reinke said he believes Chevrolet gets just as much publicity from the partnership.
“We get our name out there to all the students, coaches and fans,” Reinke said. “When they see our brand at games and tailgating events, we’re building up our reputation.”
Jaclyn Kachelmeyer, international relations and Plan II senior and director of UT’s Campus Environmental Center, said the Silverado’s release could serve as a platform for initiating a campus-wide conversation on how UT markets itself within Austin.
“It would be nice to see UT move towards a more sustainable vehicle,” Kachelmeyer said. “[The vehicle’s release] is a great opportunity to talk about how we choose to market ourselves, and what sustainable things we invest in.”