UT-OU football game signs SBC as sponsor

Wednesday, July 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SBC Communications Inc. expanded its roster of sports sponsorships Tuesday by signing a three-year deal to put its name on Dallas' annual football game between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma.

The game, scheduled this season for Oct. 7 at the Cotton Bowl, will be known as the Southwestern Bell Red River Shootout.

"They are one of the most recognizable companies in the world, and we think that it is tremendous that they have chosen to become the title sponsor of our game," said DeLoss Dodds, UT athletic director.

The company declined to discuss the financial terms of the sponsorship, which includes signage at the Cotton Bowl.

"With the revitalization of the Oklahoma and Texas football programs, we believe the Southwestern Bell Red River Shootout once again will become a game of national significance," said Terry Bailey, president of Southwestern Bell business markets.

Dallas-based Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Texas was the Big 12 Conference game's title sponsor from 1995 through 1999. Under the Dr Pepper contract, each school received about $125,000 a year.

The deal broadens SBC Communications' heavy investment in collegiate football. The company sponsors Texas, OU, the Big 12 Conference and the SBC Cotton Bowl Classic. After a $20 million donation, SBC is also part of the name of Texas Tech's renovated stadium in Lubbock.

For San Antonio-based SBC Communications, the Texas-OU sponsorship marks the second foray into sports marketing within a week. On July 19, the company said it signed a 20-year, $41 million deal for naming rights to the new $175 million arena for the San Antonio Spurs.

Pacific Telesis Corp., another SBC business unit, agreed to pay $50 million over 24 years to name Pacific Bell Park, the new home of the San Francisco Giants.