Around the campus of University of Tennessee you will find what they call their brand icon: This “UT” brand icon has been around since 1986. For example, its used in the slogan “FUTURE.” This brand icon visually and graphically ties the UT community together.
Brooks Savage, a 23-year-old graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee, has used the brand icon in an attempt to raise awareness and money for cancer research. His “OUTLIVE” program is another way to tie everyone together, not only at UT, but hopefully across other college campuses as well. He started off as a student manager his freshman year under then coach Buzz Peterson and is still with the team now under Coach Pearl. Brooks was nice enough to talk with CHN about this program…
Interview with Brooks Savage, OUTLIVE
CollegeHoops.net: What is the OUTLIVE program?
Brooks Savage: The goal of the Outlive program is to raise money towards early detections and cancer screenings. The money is going to the UT Medical Center. Our idea with these screenings is hopefully to catch symptoms early. Almost everyone has been effected by cancer in some way, shape, or form. Our goal coming into this project was that if we can just help one person it will be worth it.
CHN: How did you come up with the name OUTLIVE?
Brooks: I wanted to use the “UT” brand icon in some way. Outlive means to live longer then, or to survive. That’s the point that I wanted to drive home.
CHN: When did you come up with the idea for this program? Who were your biggest supporters?
Brooks: I came up with the idea for the project around August. Of course with football going on I didn’t expect this to really take off. Tennessee has a variety of projects going on at all times and at first it didn’t seem as if they wanted to take on another one. I was hesitant at first. My parents told me to stick with it because they knew I was passionate about it. Coach Pearl also told me to stay after it. He really kept me motivated. I honestly can’t say enough about the guy. He has been behind this program since day one and has encouraged me to keep after it.
CHN: How did you approach Chris Lofton with the idea? What is his take?
Brooks: I asked Chris first. He can be a private guy, like anyone can be. I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. He is an inspiration behind this idea. Everyone got to see a small part of the person he is while he played at UT. He’s and even more tremendous person off the court. I have never been around a bigger competitor or a harder working player since I have been here.
CHN: What is “white out” night? How can people get a shirt?
Brooks: We want to create a white out effect against Florida this Saturday. (ESPN 9PM) White Outlive t-shirts will be given to the students and we have been selling these shirts since the Gonzaga game. They can be found around campus or bought online. This is taking place during Coaches vs. Cancer week and figured this is as good a time as any. It is not about the shirts though. The point is to honor someone, a loved one, a friend, whatever it may be, and to honor their story.
CHN: Are there other events/ideas to take OUTLIVE to the next level?
Brooks: There has been a great deal of message boards online with responses of people telling their stories. It’s a great way to get people connected. Players from the team have visited the hospital. You can tell that the patients had a sense of normalcy while they were there. They were asking questions like “Are you guys going to beat Memphis this weekend?” It’s nice to see something like that.