We expect to see logos on airplanes—the airlines’ logo, that is. However, Seattle, Washington based Horizon is breaking the mold and showing a little northwest pride by launching several planes bearing the logo design and color scheme of universities from Washington and neighboring states.
This is a popular marketing scheme in the area, where college pride runs high and rivalries are common. Horizon has been using Bombardier Q400 turboprops with the colors and logos of local favorites University of Washington, Washington State University, University of Oregon, Oregon State University Website, and Boise State University since 2008. Because these were popular with both the media and the local community, they are adding three new college planes to their mix, now recognizing the University of Montana, Montana State, and University of Idaho.
The airline now will have an airplane for each of the largest public universities in the four of the five states that make up the Pacific Northwest. Dan Russo, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, says that the themed airplanes have received quite a bit of fanfare. “In the nearly 25 years that I have been with Horizon, I can think of nothing that has generated as much excitement among our customers as our university themed aircraft,” he said in a recent press release. “Now, with the University of Idaho and Montana’s largest public universities joining our fleet, we look forward to thrilling even more school fans.”
What will the airline get out of this new painting scheme? Horizon is an airline that tries to emphasize their local presence and roots. They serve locally produced snacks and beverages, and have routes to many smaller regional airports that otherwise might not have service. The company is a major employer in the Pacific Northwest, although not as large as Boeing and other local airline giants.
Not only is this a huge public relations measure, it is one that comes at a low cost. The airplanes were already due for a paint job, so this is a perfect time to woo local university fans. The planes will be painted in their new color and logo scheme in November before being unveiled.
If you are in the Pacific Northwest and want to check out these logo planes, you need only head for an airport near you. The finished product will be debuted in the airport nearest the university whose name they bear. The University of Idaho plane will be introduced at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport on November 10, the University of Montana plane at Missoula International Airport on November 19, and the Montana State University plane at Bozeman’s Gallatin Field on the 30th of November.
If you are a local company, it can pay big to show your regional pride. People are eager to support companies that support their community. While you may not want to invest in a paint job supporting local universities, you can look into alternative means such as sponsoring a local event or a sporting team. These activities all get your name and logo design into the public eye in a positive way and show potential customers that you care.