A popular Houston-based doughnut shop is serving up support for the city's nationally ranked college basketball team as it tries to compete in a hometown Final Four.
Shipley Do-Nuts has renamed its bear claw pastry as the "Cougar Paw" at some of its Houston-area locations in recognition of the University of Houston Cougars, whose men's basketball team will play in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament this Friday. Two more wins would put the Cougars, the No. 1 seed in the tournament's Midwest region, in the Final Four on April 1-3 at NRG Stadium.
The company made the name change Tuesday at the suggestion of a Twitter user and will continue to use the term Cougar Paw as long as UH remains in the tournament.
"We can't think of a sweeter way to cheer on our hometown team ahead of Friday's Sweet 16 game than with our ‘Cougar Paws,'" Donna Josephson, the chief marketing officer for Shipley, said in a statement. "Other Houston Shipley locations are getting on board as fast as we can print the new signs, and we hope the Coogs will be in it through April 3 when the Final Four is played here in Houston. Go Coogs!"
Done. @thisisnotmark pic.twitter.com/3IbDVDuPuW
— Shipley Do-Nuts (@ShipleyDo_Nuts) March 21, 2023
Shipley's bear claws, err Cougar Paws, are fried and seasoned with cinnamon and topped with a vanilla glaze. The UH-inspired items are available at the 10 Shipley locations listed below:
- 6545 Bissonnet St.
- 979 Bunker Hill Rd.
- 3177 Center St.
- 13349 East Freeway
- 9209 Gulf Freeway
- 6602 N. Shepherd Dr.
- 17425 North Freeway at FM 1960
- 14135 Northwest Freeway
- 2902 Southmore Ave.
- 11285 Southwest Freeway
The Cougars are scheduled to face fifth-seeded Miami at 6:15 p.m. Friday in Kansas City in a game that will be televised on CBS. The winner advances to face either No. 2 seed Texas or No. 3 seed Xavier in Sunday's regional final, with that winner moving on to the Final Four in Houston.
Last August, the UH athletic department entered into a marketing partnership with Shipley Do-Nuts, with a news release from the university calling it the "largest partnership of its kind in Shipley's history." As part of the arrangement, the company's doughnuts and coffee are sold at Cougars' home games in basketball, football and volleyball. A spokesperson for Shipley said renaming the bear claw in honor of UH was unrelated to the partnership.