University of Texas Athletics, Ricoh Team Up in Fan Cutouts Partnership
Longhorns fans show support from a distance with fan cutouts in the stands during home games
Ricoh USA teams up with the University of Texas Athletics to produce individualized fan cutouts to help fill the stands at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, home of the Texas Longhorns football team, during game days.
These cutouts, produced in conjunction with local Ricoh partner UT Print San Antonio, allow fans to show their school spirit and support for the team while respecting social distancing guidelines. A portion of the proceeds go to health and safety resources for more than 500 Longhorn student-athletes, including weekly COVID-19 testing, special health monitoring related to COVID-19, clean masks, and face shields.
“The fans make Longhorns Football what it is, so the thought of not having the full force of that cheering spirit in the stands was simply unacceptable. We needed to be innovative to deliver for our team, school, and fans,” explains Chris Del Conte, vice president and director of Texas Athletics. “When we decided we wanted to have fan cutouts, we of course reached out to our partner, Ricoh, to make it a reality. As we worked out logistics, it became clear we could produce the cutouts locally and put the proceeds toward supporting health and safety, all while giving fans a chance to show their pride. This quickly turned from a morale booster to true investment in the community, one that wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with Ricoh.”
The program has quickly gained traction. Fans bought more than 500 cutouts within the first 24 hours of the promotion. To support this high demand, Ricoh helped manage the overall process while working closely with Texas Athletics and UT Print San Antonio.
UT Print San Antonio prints the cutouts in-house on its RICOH Pro T7210 flatbed.
“At the end of the day, sporting events are about community, and in the era of social distancing, supporting communities isn’t always achievable in person,” explains Gavin Jordan-Smith, senior vice president, commercial and industrial print, Ricoh Americas. “This project helps fans feel connected to their team and brings cheering fans to game day ‘in person.’ At the same time, it offers a new way to contribute to student-athletes’ health and well-being, helping keep them safe on and off the field.”
“The way this local community comes together for Texas Athletics is truly something special to see,” adds Garry Boytos, director, UT Print San Antonio. “It has been an honor and a joy to play a role in bringing the fans back to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium while helping keep student-athletes, staff, and fans safe.”