It's that time of year again: tailgate parties, alma mater face paint and sore throats in the evening. Yes, it's football season, and a good pickup truck marketing team will never let an opportunity to connect with passionate football fans go to waste.
GMC, a big sponsor of NFL football, recently announced it will partner with "Monday Night Football" when its season starts Sept. 9 on ESPN. In fact, GMC will once again be taking a full "road show" experience on a 12-stop tour this season, giving fans in the hometowns of the Monday night games a chance to drive a 2014 Sierra Denali. In addition, the tour will travel to 11 locations in Texas — the country's largest pickup truck market. But don't think GMC is the only truck maker to figure this out.
Chevrolet just announced it will partner with the University of Texas Longhorns and make the 2014 Silverado the official truck of Bevo, the Texas Longhorns' mascot — a beloved live steer. According to some studies, one in three households in Texas (did we mention how important that state is to truck sales?) has a Longhorn fan inside.
"There is no more appropriate place to showcase the stronger, smarter, more capable 2014 Silverado than in the heart of truck country at Texas Longhorn sporting events," Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing, said in a statement.
Not to be outdone, Ford Truck has an eight-year connection to high school football, sponsoring a high school player of the week trophy in — you guessed it — Texas. In fact, over the life of the program more than 400 players have won the award, including two Heisman Trophy winners.
"Honoring Texas high school athletes with this program is one of the Ford's favorite endeavors," Chris Rushwin, Ford's central market area sales and marketing manager, said in a statement. "What began as an effort to salute outstanding high school football players has become the premier recognition program for the best student-athletes in the state. The F-150 is the best-selling truck in Texas, and clearly, the state is tops in producing some of the best football players anywhere."
As for Ram Truck, although they don't sponsor any particular high school, college or professional football programs, they do advertise heavily with the NFL and college networks. However, as many will note, they did offer a Red Wing Edition Ram 1500.
We don't expect any truck makers to stop pandering to Texas or football anytime soon, especially when both are so directly tied to full-size pickup truck sales and profits.
To read the full GMC press release about "Monday Night Football," click here.
To read the full Chevrolet press release about UT sponsorship, click here.
To read the full Ford press release about the Texas player of the week, click here.