University of Houston athletes partnering with auto dealership, clothier with endorsement deals

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Saturday, July 23, 2022
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From new souped-up trucks, to snazzy suits, the UH Coogs on the football field are now cashing in on name, image, and likeness deals.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Last July, the NCAA lifted most of its rules preventing athletes from earning money and benefitting from sponsorship and endorsement deals. Student-athletes are now able to profit from their name, image, and likeness, or NIL.

Local dealership Chastang Ford, a longtime supporter of University of Houston athletics, added UH football standouts Clayton Tune and Donavan Mutin to the NIL model. Tune, the Coogs' quarterback, and Mutin, a highly-decorated linebacker, will serve as ambassadors for the dealership.

"Our family bleeds Cougar red, and we are thrilled to connect our brand with individual student athletes who share our brand values," said Patrick Chastang, Chastang Ford's general manager and chief operating officer. "I've observed firsthand and heard from others how they represent themselves, the university, the state of Texas, Houston, not to mention their performances on the field. They are both team captains and good people who I've met on and off the field. It was an easy decision to have Donavan and Clayton represent our brand."

Through their partnership, Mutin and Tune will have premiere access to Chastang Ford vehicles such as the F-150 Lightning, F-150 Lariat, Bronco, Expedition, and any other new products coming out from Ford.

"I love the people at Chastang, and they support the Cougars, which is important to me," Tune said. "Also, I'm a Ford guy. I grew up in a Ford family. This is definitely a brand with which I wanted to partner."

"Chastang is a family business with family values," Mutin added. "I just love the fact that they wanted to partner with me, and I grew up loving Ford products."

As we've learned through the NIL era, the opportunity for local businesses to partner with student-athletes is often about more than merely brand visibility and money.

Lucho, a high-end menswear store in Houston now outfits members of the UH football team after years of providing the off-field attire for Coogs coaches and partnering with UH's C.T. Bauer College of Business.

Co-owner Hector Villarreal tells ABC13 that Lucho provides fine apparel to the players and teaches them how to present themselves for professional opportunities which may come their way on or off the football field.

SEE ALSO: Texas Tech Red Raiders football players to receive 1-year, $25,000 NIL contracts from Matador Club

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