UT introduces sportsmanship campaign
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas has introduced "Texas Fans Make Us Proud," a campaign aimed at promoting a higher level of sportsmanship among sports fans.
The campaign results from a year-long project initiated by the Texas Exes (the UT alumni organization) who convened students, alumni, band and spirit groups, athletics staff and others to develop the theme and a plan to promote it.
"We want to set a high standard for sportsmanship and enlist the help of our very best fans to help us do that," said Jim Boon, executive director of the Texas Exes. "Fan conduct is an important issue in our country and around the world. We want to be among the leaders in trying to promote exemplary fan behavior."
The campaign was introduced at an August 22 news conference that included presentations by UT Austin President William Powers, Jr., Men's Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds and Women's Athletics Director Christine Plonsky.
"This campaign is important to our team and our coaches," Dodds said. "Texas sports teams are on a very bright stage right now. With the success we are having, this is a good time for us to take a leadership role in promoting good fan sportsmanship. This message isn't anything new -- it has been reinforced over and over again by the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference."
"Sports fans are passionate people by nature. We just want to remind fans of the significance that we be respectful of the teams and people we are hosting," Plonsky said. "We think our fans understand and will buy in to this initiative.
"We have a large campus and students are a large part of our reputation and image. Student groups were instrumental in helping us craft our message, but we want the student body as a whole to take this to heart."
The campaign theme will be shown on T-shirts, banners, cups, Jumbotron images and vehicles as well as displays at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Detailed information about the campaign is available at http://www.texassports.com/ot/make-us-proud.html.
"Our university has had tremendous success in athletics, and the support of our fans has been a big part of that," Powers said. "It is important that our fans recognize that -- like our athletes -- they contribute to the reputation of our great University. We want all of our fans to demonstrate class, courtesy and respect for our competitors."