Brand Awareness | TDECU Suits Up for U of H

GDC loves being tossed a good challenge which is why we wasted no time in suiting up to hit the field when TDECU announced it was purchasing the naming rights to the new football stadium being constructed at the University of Houston. Game on!

Founded in 1955, TDECU (Texas Dow Employees Credit Union) is the largest credit union in Houston with more than 210,000 members and $2.6 billion in assets. However, outside of its membership and the communities where it operates, the name recognition of TDECU and its brand was low to non-existent.

An opportunity to rectify this arose in spring 2014 when the University of Houston (UH) announced it was selling the naming rights to its new 40,000-seat on-campus football stadium which was under construction. The UH Cougars football program is a NCAA Divison I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team. TDECU is a strong supporter of education initiatives saw a great opportunity to partner with the University of Houston on the endeavor.  An agreement to purchase the naming rights for $15 million over 10 years was reached in summer 2014 whereby the new stadium would be named TDECU stadium. The $1.5 million annual value of the deal, which runs through June 16, 2024, is the most for an FBS school.  It also represented the first major corporate sponsorship of a sports venue for TDECU. GDC was asked to assist in hosting a news conference that would announce the partnership between the University of Houston and TDECU to the community, and unveil the new stadium name.

In a collaborative effort between the University of Houston Athletics Department, TDECU and GDC, a news conference was coordinated and held on the UH campus on July 8, 2014. Joined by the UH marching band, football team, cheerleaders and team mascots, the announcement was made during a pep-rally style news conference. Among the invited speakers were UH President Dr. Renu Khator and Stephanie Sherrodd, President and CEO of TDECU.  Ms. Sherrodd was presented with a UH team jersey to a cheering crowd. Local media which included TV, radio, print reporters and influential bloggers crowded into the news conference for the announcement which was standing room only. Afterwards a Q&A session was held with Dr. Khator and Ms. Sherrodd.

To date, the announcement of TDECU Stadium has generated 35.2 million in media value from local, regional and national news organizations in print, radio, TV and social media. News articles from influential bloggers and online digital publications focused on college sports reporting created an online buzz for the announcement. More importantly, TDECU name recognition has risen significantly as is awareness of TDECU’s strong commitment to education. TDECU has established a member center on the UH campus with plan to bring a second location to the campus in fall 2015 which will be designed by UH architectural students.

With UH Cougar Football games being televised nationally, TDECU’s brand has received a huge public awareness boost both inside and outside the markets where it operates. Additionally, the partnership with UH has been expanded to TDECU offering financial literacy classes and seminars on campus to students, faculty and staff, and assisting these audiences with topics ranging from debt control to planning for their financial future.

Plus, GDC has further expanded the UH relationship to carry over into TDECU’s corporate branding and has made it an integral part of its marketing mix. So if you visit GDC and see us carrying on about the Coogs and TDECU Stadium grab your poms poms and join in the fun as we rally around our partnership with TDECU and the University of Houston. Go Coogs!