ANN ARBOR, MI – APRIL 04: during the Michigan Football Spring Game on April 4, 2015 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Jim Harbaugh’s debut as Michigan head football coach on Sept. 3 is a big deal, perhaps the headline moment in the early stages of the 2015 college football season. And Fox Sports wants everyone to know that Harbaugh’s first game as Michigan coach will be on Fox Sports 1, as the Wolverines play at Utah with an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

But Fox Sports wants to make sure everyone knows that Harbaugh and his signature khakis will be pacing the sideline in Salt Lake City for its season-opening broadcast. To underline or highlight the point, the network is promoting that Sept. 3 opener by outfitting a bus with khakis. You know, the preferred choice of pants for Michigan’s new coach.

Having trouble picturing how that will look? Here’s an image to help you form a visual.

(Photo via FOX Sports Communications)
(Photo via FOX Sports Communications)

By the way, the shirt and khakis decorating the outside of that Fox Sports bus won’t be any sort of decal or paint. It’s going to be actual fabric. Hopefully, the kind that doesn’t get stiff and itchy after going through the wash. (Not that such concerns matter to Harbaugh, who infamously shopped for his pants at Walmart.)

“Once it became official that Harbaugh was going to return to coach, it became a huge, huge priority for us, from a production standpoint and a marketing standpoint,” Robert Gottlieb, executive vice president and head of marketing for Fox Sports Media Group told the Detroit Free Press.

“There’s a lot of traditional media we’re going to do around the game: TV commercials and radio commercials. But it was so special, and the appeal and the interest in Harbaugh and the program is so intensified, that we definitely wanted to do something that was a little out of the ordinary that would help drive home the message that this game is coming.”

According to the Freep‘s Mark Snyder, Fox Sports originally considered outfitting a building in the Harbaugh ensemble. But that was deemed too difficult. Plus, that building can’t go anywhere, while the bus will travel from Ann Arbor on Aug. 22 to Salt Lake City in time for the Utah-Michigan game. Along the way, the Harbaugh (“Harbus”?) will make stops in Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas and St. Louis.

New Fox Sports personality Colin Cowherd will also make his network debut during the Utah-Michigan telecast on Sept. 3. And he will reportedly interview Harbaugh for the FS1 pregame show, in a redo of their terribly awkward July 1 ESPN Radio interview. (Curiously, Snyder mentions Dave Wannstedt as a possibility for the Harbaugh interview.)

Any chance this chat will take place on the khaki bus? Or is that the sort of meta thing that could cause the coach to be less than jovial and clench up?

[Detroit Free Press]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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