SBD/April 10, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

AT&T Sponsoring Red River Showdown Part Of Brand's Big Texas Footprint

The move to change the name of the annual Univ. of Texas-Univ. of Oklahoma football game "to the Red River Showdown came about in part because corporate sponsor AT&T is trying to make the biggest footprint possible in the world of Texas sports," according to Chad Swiatecki of the AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL. AT&T already is the naming rights sponsor of the Cowboys' stadium in Arlington, and UT Exec Senior Associate AD/External Services Chris Plonsky said the company paid “mid-six figures” for the new partnership. But Swiatecki noted there "isn't talk of moving the famous game" to AT&T Stadium. Plonsky said that discussions between the company and the two schools "began in late 2012 because realignment of competing conferences and the adoption of a college football playoff system for its national championship meant there was enough change happening in college football to switch from the alliterative Red River Rivalry moniker that had been in place" since '05. She added that there "was discussion about moving the UT-OU game to AT&T Stadium from its longtime Dallas home at the Cotton Bowl, but both schools remain committed to the Cotton Bowl and intend to keep the game there beyond the current contract," which expires in '20. Plonsky said that all "imaging and graphic work for the various logos and marks for the Red River Showdown were handled by The Marketing Arm, which is a division of AT&T’s internal fulfillment department." The contract with AT&T for the Red River Showdown "runs through the 2015 game." But Plonsky said that the company and both schools "are already in talks to extend the deal" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/9).
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