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After two years of exploration by a sponsorship task force, it’s official – UNC athletics venues now will sport permanent corporate signage. The University and the Wachovia Corp. announced last week an eight-year, $9.1 million partnership that will guarantee permanent advertising on campus through 2013.
Effects of the deal were seen immediately, as a pair 6- by 8-foot blue Wachovia signs were installed and illuminated on two of the four video boards in the Dean E. Smith Center in time for the men’s basketball game with Cleveland State on Nov. 22, the same day the agreement was announced.
In addition to the signs, the Wachovia logo will be displayed on the Smith Center’s courtside LED board.
On-site signage also will be added at Boshamer Stadium, Carmichael Auditorium and Fetzer Field, while electronic messaging at Kenan Stadium will continue.
“This action fully supports the recommendation by the UNC Board of Trustees and the task force appointed by the trustees to add on-site sponsorship in a limited and tasteful way with a company that has strong integrity and national impact,” Athletics Director Dick Baddour ’66 said in a statement.
Baddour said this year’s $1 million payout will go to one-time facility improvements in UNC’s athletics venues.
“The Smith Center has been home to Carolina basketball for 20 years, the same length of time the men played in Carmichael Auditorium, and the building is due for a number of upgrades and repairs that have been delayed for financial reasons,” Baddour said. “Those include fixing the sound system, seats, concessions, the concourse and lighting.”
The deal also includes “special programs for students and alumni,” according to a news release.
Wachovia likely won’t be the only company with a permanent on-site presence. Baddour told The Daily Tar Heel that Nike’s logo will appear on the Smith Center’s basketball goal posts and that the athletics department is in negotiations with another company to establish a deal similar to the Wachovia agreement.
“I don’t know if it will happen this year,” Baddour told The DTH. “These things take time. It has to be a right fit for them and us.”