Webster Bank to become major UConn sponsor
STORRS, Conn.—The University of Connecticut and Webster Bank announced Thursday they have signed a major sponsorship deal that will help the school fund its planned basketball practice facility.
The financial details of the marketing package were not released, but school officials said in a statement Thursday it will make the bank a top sponsor of "all UConn constituencies including more than 200,000 alumni, 28,000 students, and all sports."
In addition to the basketball center, the deal also involves the bank funding UConn community programing and hospitality events. The bank and the school's names also will appear together in media campaigns and on signs at various sports venues. The bank also will be allowed to use the school's image for branding, promotions, and marketing.
"Webster Bank and UConn represent two outstanding and powerful brands in our state, and we look forward to working together on mutually-beneficial marketing opportunities," said Warde Manuel, the school's athletic director. "Additionally, through its contribution to our new Basketball Development Center, Webster has recognized the importance of maintaining the excellence in our nationally-recognized basketball programs."
The school has been trying to raise about $40 million for the planned 70,000-square-foot basketball center. The school this spring tore down its old on-campus football stadium to make room for the building next to its Gampel Pavilion arena.
UConn hasn't announced a timetable for construction of the building. It will include dedicated practice gyms for the men's and women's basketball programs, locker rooms, coaches' offices and areas for academic support, video analysis, sports medicine and strength training.
Connecticut-based Webster has $19 billion in assets and 167 branches in southern New England and Westchester County, N.Y.
"With two active Hall of Fame coaches, a deeply committed fan base, and consistently ranking as one of the top 20 public universities in the nation, UConn is the perfect fit with Webster's heritage as a community-focused, values-guided bank," Jerry Plush, president and chief operating officer of Webster, said in a statement.
UConn spokesman Michael Enright said that despite being a public university, the school was not required to say how much money Webster is putting into the deal because the financial arrangement was reached between the bank and IMG College, a private company the school uses to handle its licensing and brand management.