DALLAS, July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE : LUV ) will become the Official Airline Sponsor of The University of Texas Athletics and the Ex-Students' Association of the University of Texas, the Texas Exes. The five-year partnership, brokered and managed by IMG College, the multimedia rights holder for Texas Athletics and the Texas Exes, kicks off in Fall 2012 with the Texas Football season and will continue throughout the year to support the Longhorns at all home events and through Texas Exes communications.
"I am a proud UT alum, and like many of my Southwest co-hearts, I have a strong passion for the Texas Longhorns," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer. "Through this multi-year partnership that covers all 20 Longhorn sports teams, we support Texas Athletics and share its commitment to a continued pursuit of excellence and a winning tradition. Hook'-em!"
"Southwest Airlines started in the state of Texas and has become a transportation industry leader and game-changer," said Men's Athletics Director, DeLoss Dodds. "Texas Athletics and Southwest Airlines represent a family partnership, mainly because of the loyalty, work and dedication of our employees and customers. We both work hard to excel, have fun, and have passionate, loyal fans."
"We are delighted to be joining forces with Southwest Airlines and the Texas Longhorns in what is sure to be a winning partnership," said Leslie Cedar, Texas Exes CEO and Executive Director. "Our goal is to champion The University of Texas, both on the field and off, and this collaboration will allow us to do so more effectively than ever. Plus, we love being affiliated with a Texas business led by a distinguished Texas Ex."
Southwest will be the presenting sponsor of the first home football game each year and will have digital, on-field, and an in-stadium promotional areas at every home game. In conjunction with signage showcasing the "Spirit of Southwest" in all athletic venues across campus, Southwest will host contests and promotional events engaging the Longhorn faithful throughout the year.
The "Texas-sized" celebration for Southwest's sponsorship of the Texas Longhorns took place this morning at the official announcement event at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, as the first of many wins for the pair. Kelly and Dodds were joined by tremendous fan support with, undoubtedly, more wins to come over the next five years.
With more than 57 daily departures to 21 nonstop destinations from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Southwest Airlines has supported the Austin area, home of the Longhorns, since service began in 1977.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 41st year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE : LUV ) continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers by providing a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Along with wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, the Company now serves 103 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, six near-international countries, and employs more than 46,000 People.
Visit southwest.com/citizenship to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™ and see how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen while underscoring a commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet.
Southwest Airlines, one of the most honored airlines in the world, is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and serves the communities around 74 airports in Southwest's network of domestic destinations. To book a flight, visit southwest.com.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS ATHLETICS
The Athletics Departments at The University of Texas at Austin are committed to The University's mission of achieving excellence in education, research, and public service. Specifically, our mission is focused on three interrelated communities:
To provide opportunities and support for University student-athletes to achieve academically and compete athletically at the highest level, and provide programming and resources that help prepare them with skills for life.
To operate with quality and integrity in our role as a focal point for school identity and spirit, while complementing the academic, cultural, and social facets of University life for the general student body, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Citizens of the State of Texas
To support the community through public service and to be a source of pride and entertainment by representing the state of Texas with internationally successful sport programs and thereby benefit the state economy.
ABOUT EX-STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
The saying goes that everything's bigger in Texas. The Texas Exes is no exception, with membership of more than 99,000 forming one of the largest, most renowned alumni networks in the world. Since 1885, the core purpose has remained the same: to be an independent voice that champions the University, and to organize alumni and friends into a formidable network to change the world. Whether it's through scholarships, alumni engagement, advocacy, or The Alcalde magazine. The Texas Exes exist to lead the charge for the University and its mission to be known worldwide as an institution of the first class. www.TexasExes.org
ABOUT IMG COLLEGE
IMG College is the nation's leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company, representing more than 200 of the nation's top collegiate properties, including NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., IMG College employs more than 700 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the U.S., capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, licensing, events and hospitality, marketing, stadium and arena development, stadium seating solutions, ticketing, sales, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming, and is the leading publisher of college sports publications and the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit www.imgcollege.com.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines