University of Texas football stadium

Case Study: The University of Texas at Austin

How Ricoh Interactive Digital Experiences Added Wow-Factor to Athletics and Academics at The University of Texas

University of Texas Logo
University of Texas football stadium

About the customer

The University of Texas at Austin ranks among the 40 best universities in the world. It has 52,000 students, 3,000 faculty and 570 student athletes who participate across 20 sports programs. Founded in 1883, The University of Texas at Austin was named among the top 10 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Its athletic teams are known as the Longhorns. They are one of the most iconic brands in collegiate athletics in terms of both size and notoriety.
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I stopped thinking of Ricoh as an office products company long ago. They pivoted into providing clients what they need and where they are going.

Christine Plonsky Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief of Staff The University of Texas at Austin

Challenge

University of Texas football stadium lounge
  • A costly, overgrown, outdated printing fleet
  • Need for efficient, high-quality production print and mail services
  • Desire to create a modern, interactive digital experience for Longhorns athletic events
  • Need to digitize historical archived paper records

Twenty years ago, Ricoh introduced the concept of rightsizing The University of Texas at Austin's printing fleet, modernized their print technology with MFP devices and provided managed services for production print and mail for the athletics department and University as a whole. Impressed by the 20%-30% savings at the Austin campus, the University partnered with Ricoh through the years to replicate the technology and experience at their other campuses in El Paso, Dallas and San Antonio. The University also relied on Ricoh to digitize the many thousands of archived paper records accumulated throughout its history.

Flash forward two decades and the relationship with Ricoh, the Official Workplace Technology Provider for The University of Texas at Austin's athletics, was still going strong. We continued to provide the technology and services that make the University stand out to staff, fans, athletes, alumni and donors on game days. 

The University's Vice President/Athletics Director Chris Del Conte next wanted to take the Longhorns football experience up a notch. Since 2018, the University has invested approximately $750 million in refurbishing, modernizing, maintaining or creating a futuristic experience for its 20 sports team facilities. The University was in the process of building a new south end zone at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. As part of the expansion, the University turned to Ricoh to explore interactive digital technology that would put the Longhorns in a league of their own.

Results

  • Ongoing plans to add interactive digital technology to modernize the football practice facility
  • Replicated successful football interactive digital installation for renovated Red & Charline McCombs Field softball facility
  • Partnership helped the Longhorns to be the largest revenue-generating athletics program in college sports

The University of Texas at Austin was so impressed with the new interactive digital experience at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium that officials decided to do the same at the McCombs Field softball facility. Ricoh managed the addition of collaboration technology, including flat screens and associated digital devices, throughout the complex, making it a premier site for athletes, fans, alumni and donors.

The University's vision for futuristic athletics venues doesn't stop there. They are next eyeing a new modern indoor football practice facility and will incorporate interactive digital technology throughout. Due to the partnership with Ricoh, the University can install the best technology and prioritize where it's needed most. 

Texas Athletics is all about developing student-athletes to be successful graduates and impactful citizens. Whether it involves training, scouting or day-to-day learning, the Ricoh interactive digital technology and Ricoh's two-decade partnership with University of Texas Athletics have helped provide a first-class collegiate experience for thousands of graduates and a helpful work environment for staff.

How We Did It

"Whether it's being used for training, scouting or day-to-day learning, Ricoh's interactive digital technology support has delivered a better experience for student-athletes and staff at The University of Texas."

Christine Plonsky Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief of Staff The University of Texas at Austin

  • Leveraged partnership to manage the installation of modern, wow-worthy interactive digital technology throughout the DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium
  • Produced virtual fans by printing custom cutouts when the public was prohibited from attending live games during the pandemic
  • Preparing to equip renovated student-athlete academic center with high tech interactive digital tools for modern collaboration

As part of our sponsorship agreement with The University of Texas at Austin, Ricoh's Collaboration Services team managed the installation of more than 300 big screen televisions, interactive displays and tablets throughout the stadium to elevate the game-day experience. Closed caption TVs were installed in public spaces such as concession areas and tablets were strategically placed in the loge boxes next to high-value donor seats so they could watch the Longhorns or other games in real time. In the new south end zone stadium renovation, we managed the installation of video technology and flat screen displays to make the plays on the field come alive. 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when fans weren’t allowed in the stands, Ricoh and Texas Athletics quickly collaborated to create more than 2,000 virtual fan custom cutouts. The My Texas Cutout Program provided fans an opportunity to stay in the action at the stadium, while remaining safe at home. Revenue from cut-out purchases benefitted student-athlete health and academic resources. Some of the cutouts even featured actor, producer, author and local Austinite, Matthew McConaughey, who is an adjunct filmmaking professor at the University. 

Next, Ricoh is getting ready to equip the University's newly renovated student-athlete academic center with interactive digital tools to help them better collaborate on group projects. In this modern learning center, students will have access to the latest collaboration technology to further the University's goal of delivering a superior academic experience.

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