UT Austin and Dallas and Houston Power Providers Get Into the Energy-Sellin' Bidness

Sports Business Journal calls it a "unique marketing effort," which is one way of putting it: The University of Texas at Austin, Crescent Court-based Branded Retail Energy Company and Houston-based Champion Energy Services this morning announced the creation of Texas Longhorn Energy. Which is? Well, put simply, it's a marketing strategy, a way for the school to sell itself without having to sell itself. And when UT alumni or Longhorn fans sign up for the service, the school will get some dough toward its green-energy efforts.

SBJ, which points out that UT's "licensed merchandise produces the most royalties of any of Collegiate Licensing Co.'s college programs" -- wonders if this'll be but the beginning of similar partnerships in both pro and college sports, a la teams' deals with branded credit cards, or just a novelty one-off. To which Branded Retail Energy's Larry Weil responds:

"This is not a gimmick. This is renewable energy at a competitive price. But when you combine it with the depth of passion people have for their university, it should be a powerful marketing platform, because you can give something to your school and do something green at the same time."

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