Texas Longhorns Selling Electricity To Fans

You can buy t-shirts, bobbleheads, cutlery, camping gear, computer gear and, oh, bobbleheads, based on your favorite college teams. So, what’s left to brand? How about the power coming into your home? That’s what’s happening in Dallas, where the University of Texas and Texas A&M have begun selling electricity and natural gas under the Texas Longhorns Energy and Aggies Energy brands. No word on whether you’ll get hit with rolling blackouts if the teams hit a losing streak.

AdAge flips the switch on the powerful news:

In a deal put together by sponsorship broker IMG College and Branded Retail Energy, a Dallas-based company that markets electricity through affinity partnerships, the schools will create university-branded power companies. Texas Longhorns Energy and Texas A&M Aggies Energy will begin selling electricity and natural gas to consumers in deregulated markets in the state next month.

“We’re very conscientious about our brand. We want to be careful with that logo and that symbol,” University of Texas Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Plonsky said. “When BRE and IMG brought it to us, we went ‘Huh?’ But it made sense because the issue of sustainability, especially on large college campuses that use a lot of energy, is important to us.”

…Texas Longhorns Energy will be powered by one of the nation’s top retail electricity providers, Champion Energy Services, and will provide renewable green energy to alumni and fans in deregulated regions of Texas.

News reports about the plan don’t provide much detail about where the program’s “renewable” energy will come from, but Champion’s web site says that the company’s green products are “sourced from renewable generation using wind, solar energy and biofuels.”

Fans, according to UT, will now be able to “integrate their passion for the Longhorns into their daily lives.” Shocking.

Texans Can Support Home Teams With Branded Electricity [Advertising Age ]

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  1. mvillafana says:

    I don’t really care whether it UT, A&M or Rice.

    The only question most Texans (and Americans) ask is:

    What are their prices?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’m sure it will follow the rules for other items branded by major sports teams, and be at similar or cheaper prices than their non-branded counterparts.

      Wait….shit.

      • mvillafana says:

        My point exactly.

        I like your analogy, btw.

        But following your analogy, I have some comforting words:

        I live across the street from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. I’ve been to the in-house store, and have been amazed at their sky-high prices. On a recent trip w/a friend I saw a Tony Romo jersey for $90. I quietly told my friend that these prices were a world-class ripoff just like the stadium. Somehow the store manager heard the remark, and told me that the items were “official” apparel from the NFL. I politely responded by noting that a WMT across the street from the Stadium (yes, you read right) sold the same exact jersey for less than half what the store charged… And before she could respond to that comment, I reminded that WMT too sold officially licensed as well… She was speechless, and I wasn’t surprised.

        The moral of both stories: The name brand is often ridiculously overpriced. Look for the cheaper alternative. It usually is the same exact product, just that you’re not getting ripped off.

        • David in Brasil says:

          What’s WMT?

        • operator207 says:

          I also live in Arlington, though not across the street from the “Mothership”.
          I feel for you man. Game days/nights must suck enormously for you if you want to go out. They do when I am trying to drive home from work, and have to drive down I-30 or 360.

  2. rahntwo says:

    Thats a real shocker!

  3. Enduro says:

    If this is what it takes to get people to go green in big oil countr I guess it’s okay but… Geez, enough with the branding of everything from Instant Replays to Concert tours.

    • nybiker says:

      +100000.
      And with ‘calls to the bullpen’ and naming rights for stadiums & college football bowl games and having official caps & balls, pizza, cell phone, and hospital & banks for teams.

      I guess I should ask the good folks at Pace University when they are going to get a branded electricity supply? And I just signed up for an ESCO but without any contract I can go to Pace’s brand once they get one. Of course, the big concern is whether or not these branding deals are going to be good for the consumer / alumni as opposed to the deals the credit cards companies made for cardholders/students/alumni.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    It’s sad that someone will choose this service for the brand only.

  5. joshua70448 says:

    What I think is truly hilarious is that residents of Bryan and College Station can’t actually purchase Aggie Energy, because we are not deregulated (Bryan Texas Utilities and College Station Utilities, respectively).

  6. Sunflower1970 says:

    Sooo.. Are T. Boone Pickens and/or Jerry Jones going to benefit somehow from this..?

  7. c!tizen says:

    woohooo, LONGHORNS!!!

  8. lalaland13 says:

    I wonder if you get charged even more because of the brand name. Thanks to deregulation, it’s already ridiculously expensive. I moved to another state and my bills were cut by half or more in a bigger apartment.

    And oh, Aggies Energy? Cue all the Aggie jokes.

    • TXAgg says:

      Yeah, lets hear some Aggie jokes…..

      • mvillafana says:

        How many Aggies does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        One, but he gets 3 hours credit.

      • mvillafana says:

        Did you hear about the Aggie who won a gold medal at the Olympics?

        He liked it so much that he decided to get it bronzed.

      • Tarceinus says:

        How many Aggies does it take to build a Wind Tunnel?

        Two: One to stand still and the other to blow in his ear.

    • mvillafana says:

      The Aggies were playing Baylor. It was near the end of the game and Baylor was ahead by 4. Someone threw a firecracker and the Bears thought it was the gun and ran off the field celebrating.

      Three plays later the Aggies scored and won!!

    • mvillafana says:

      How do you know when an Aggie has sent you a fax?

      There’s a stamp on it.

    • mvillafana says:

      Ok, I could go on and (and I’m tempted to, btw), but the last one:

      Why can’t Aggie farmers raise chickens?

      They plant the eggs too deep.

      Hook ‘em horns!

  9. kshusker says:

    If you are late paying your bill, you’ll get an extra second for free!

  10. TXAgg says:

    Do I get an alumni discount?

  11. JMILLER says:

    I can’t wait for the next wave from UT.
    “Now Mack Brown’s bowel movement is sponsored by Charmin toilet paper. The toilet paper preferred at Texas stadium for it soft schedule and season going down the toilet.”

  12. edison234 says:

    Affinity:
    1. A natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship.
    2. Relationship by marriage.
    3. An inherent similarity between persons or things.

    Yet another word butchered by a corporation.

    I don’t think that colleges/universities fall under a natural attraction for a energy producer. However, the brokers probably made a nice commission for this stupidity.

    • JMILLER says:

      “3. An inherent similarity between persons or things.”

      That would be the major reason anybody had any interest in this service. The inherent similarity of being Texas Longhorn fans. You honestly can’t see that?

  13. ARP says:

    Honest Question (seriously): Why does energy seem to be so expensive in deregulated markets? Is it because its not really deregulated, there’s a high cost of entry, historic monopolies, etc.?

    I’ve always been interested in exploring nationalizing primary transmission lines but then allowing energy producers to compete for your business.

    • nybiker says:

      I think you have answered your own question to a degree. I also think it’s because it’s not deregulated they can just jack up the rates until people scream. It also depends on how much actual competition there really is in the area. I just signed up for an ESCO here in NYC and their price for electricity is a little cheaper than the company it was split off from (if you know the power players here, you’ll know who I am talking about).
      Another reason (if you are as much of a cynic as I am) is that there might be a loose and unspoken rule about not cutting prices just to attract customers. That way the price stays relatively high.
      It should be noted that I was a Math Major / Computer (CIS) Minor when I was at Pace University, so my economic thoughts are to be taken with a large grain of salt. And for affinity stuff, I never buy stuff with those tie-ins. When I support Pace I make a direct donation. I know the team at Pace is called Pace Setters. But I have no idea as to what the equivalent of ‘hook em horns’ is for the team. Any Pace alumni out there who can enlighten me? Thx.

    • JMILLER says:

      It boils down to economies of scale. When there is a monopoly that is regulated there are no duplicate costs for billing, and other administrative type jobs. Then comes the real fun cost of marketing the product.
      I would prefer electricity be run as not for profit by a local/regional governmental unit, similar to how I am billed for water.

  14. Fair&Balanced says:

    Texas is a horrible state for electricity.
    I just moved here and you CAN’T buy electricity from the power company.

    You have to buy through a middle man company that just charges you more money for no reason.

    Deregulation in Texas makes electricity more expensive than any other state I have lived in where the state regulates the energy and you CAN buy from the power company.
    Texas is a joke of a state where the people just let horrible businesses rip them off.

    • Mike says:

      “Texas is a joke of a state where the people just let horrible businesses rip them off.”

      Ouch. Where did you live before?

  15. VectorVictor says:

    So, when the customer pays the bill and thinks everything is settled, will Longhorn energy tack on an extra undeserved cent?

    • cybrczch says:

      Ooooh, someone’s still upset about the Big 12 playoff game…
      Of course now they should probably be referred to as the Big Tatr – Texas and the rest

  16. Verdant Pine Trees says:

    This will be massively popular. All you have to do is drive down here to see all the people who will switch. In fact, it’s illegal to drive in Houston without putting your alma mater’s sticker (or your daughter or brother or mother’s alma mater) on the back window of your vehicle.

  17. varro says:

    Link the weight room to a generator like this gym does – http://greenupgrader.com/5196/the-green-microgym-harnesses-your-workout-power/