Go to Google images. Just do it. Now, type “Nick Saban Press Conference” and click search or hit enter, whatever works best for you. What do you see in nearly every picture?
Obviously, you see Saban and a podium, but what about the untouched bottle of Coke in front of the legendary head coach? Is it because he is a connoisseur of the world-famous soft drink? Nope. As far as I can tell, he never touches it. Hell, it might be the same bottle of Coca-Cola every time because he only ever drinks the Dasani (also a Coca-Cola product) water that sits opposite of the red bottle. Nonetheless, that bottle is there because it is an excellent marketing strategy.
Now, the University of Texas is getting in on the marketing action. According to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, Texas has reached a deal with Coca-Cola to have a Coke bottle present at Chris Beard’s media availabilities.
The head basketball coach for the Texas Longhorns is hardly the Nick Saban of hoops, that title has to belong to John Wooden.
However, the up-and-coming coach had resounding success with Texas Tech, leading the Red Raiders to the Elite Eight in 2017-18 and the Final Four in 2018-19 before losing to Virginia in the National Championship Game.
With Texas, Beard has the Longhorns at 13-4 and looking very much like a strong tournament team. Only time will tell if he can replicate his success in Lubbock, but one thing is certain: Texas is giving Beard every resource he needs to be successful.