When the University of Texas Longhorns play their home opener at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin next weekend, fans at the game will be bombarded with a green message. That’s because UT has partnered with a Houston-based energy company to market wind-powered electricity to those who love the burnt orange.
According to the firm’s web site, Champion Energy Services specializes in providing electricity in deregulated retail markets in Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Companies like Champion buy energy from producers and then repackage and market it to customers. In some cases, they are able to undercut the dominant local companies on the basis of price.
Most Texans already have the opportunity to choose their power provider, and most providers allow subscribers to choose green energy from wind or solar. So what does Texas Longhorns Energy bring to the table that’s new and innovative?
Probably not much, according to advertising industry executives. Texas Longhorns Energy is simply a marketing move by Champion and the University designed to put more money in both organizations’ pockets. The firm is also offering Texas A&M Aggie Energy, after all. The new branding benefits Champion since the schools have far greater name recognition than the firm itself. It benefits UT and A&M with cash payments for new accounts.
Ironically, you won’t be able to sign up for Texas Longhorns Energy if you live in the shadow of Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. Most of Austin and the Austin Energy service area is not deregulated. As a result, the product will not be offered for sale here.
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