On Monday, Texas Standard talked with the founder and editor of Burnt Orange Nation. He’d been reporting on new numbers about fandom and college football. The numbers suggested that the Texas Longhorns were no longer king of the hill, top of the heap and that, instead, Texas A&M was on its way to becoming the most popular team for fans of college football across Texas.
Well, the eyes (and ears) of the Texas sports program picked up on our little conversation, and asked if UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson could set the record straight.
Why Texas Still Rules:
“I think if you look at the recent New York Times evaluation where they looked at every single zip code in the United States, you’d be surprised to see not only is the vast majority of Texas orange but they ranked who is the first, second and third most popular college teams in the country and, in large parts of other states, we may not be first but we’re second and third around a lot of it. The University of Texas Athletic Department really is an international brand. It’s recognized across the globe. People know the burnt orange, people know the silhouette. You know, you can be watching Academy Award nominated movies and see people wearing burnt orange hats showing up. So we think we’re doing a lot of great stuff.”
On Whether Nielsen got it Wrong:
“I’m saying if you go to Dallas or you go to Houston or you go to Austin or you go to Fort Worth and you want to see the most recognized brand, the most popular in the state – it’s the University of Texas.”
On Winning to Gain Fandom:
“Really these things move depending on what happens on the field by and large. So if Charlie (Strong – Longhorns Football Head Coach) goes out and wins 12 ballgames this year, we’ll get a whole lot more press… So it really depends. If you’ve been sort of flat in performance on the field for a few years, your viewership will suffer a bit, when you hop back up, it goes back up.”