Chevrolet is rolling past the Austin city limits with a multi-year partnership with the Texas Longhorns. Among other things, the deal with the University of Texas Athletics program, college sports marketing group IMG College, and the Texas Exes (The Ex-Students’ Association of the University of Texas), makes Silverado the "Official Truck of the Texas Longhorns" and of the Texas Exes. The truck is also official truck of "Bevo," the bull serving as the Texas Longhorns’ live mascot.
Texas is by far the
biggest pickup truck market in the U.S., and therefore an anything-goes marketing zone for Ford, Chevrolet, Ram and Toyota. Chris Perry, head of Chevrolet marketing, says that in Texas "a Longhorn fan
lives in one out of every three households, and [a Texan] is almost twice as likely to buy a truck than the average consumer.”
The partners say the relationship gives Chevrolet a presence at home athletics and alumni events, print and digital promotional opportunities, presence on the Longhorns’ statewide radio network and coaches’ endorsements. It also includes a presence on the Longhorn Network, the 24-hour channel dedicated to programming associated with Texas Athletics and the University of Texas, per Chevrolet and UT.
On the ground, Chevrolet's pickup truck will pull Bevo’s trailer to and from events. The truck will also be at the Texas Exes’ “Biggest Tailgate in Texas,” and the automaker gets its name on "Chevy Silverado Ticket Will Call & Pick-up Window." The Silverado logo also appears on the backdrop for all Texas Athletics official media conferences and interviews, per the participants. The Silverado is also the Official Truck of the AT&T Red River Rivalry, the annual Texas vs. Oklahoma football game in Dallas.
Despite the vehicle's Texas-centric launch campaign, shot in Texas, backed by the music of Will Hoge (okay, he’s from Tennessee), and featuring some real Texans, the company has been running grassroots programs in the state. Chevrolet says activities are also at NASCAR races, music venues, sporting events and a partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council.