The University of Kentucky and the UK Federal Credit Union signed a 13-year naming rights deal for the university’s esports complex this week. Under the terms of this partnership, UKFC will serve as the sponsor and the esports venue will be named the “UK Federal Credit Union Esports Lounge and Theater.”
While UK Sports and Campus Marketing at JMI Sports President Kim Shelton did not disclose an exact dollar amount, she told The Esports Observer Thursday that the “investment by the credit union is a five-figure annual investment with an escalator over 13 years.”
The naming rights deal was facilitated by JMI Sports, who has a relationship with the University of Kentucky and controls the media rights granted as part of that partnership.
The esports facilities are part of “The Cornerstone,” a redevelopment of an old parking garage and an adjacent parcel that is being transformed into 900 parking spaces and a 23,000 square foot ground floor that will feature retail space, a communal dining area, a 100-seat theater, an innovation center, and an adjacent space for esports when construction is completed in the fall. The space was named earlier this year via a campus-wide vote.
Shelton described the Esports Lounge as “a real investment by the University of Kentucky in gaming” and noted that the university “through JMI Sports is working with Gen.G Esports to continue to build upon the esports platform with the goals of programming, speakers series, tournaments,” and conferences.
The University of Kentucky began working with Gen.G Esports in October 2019.
JMI Sports is a collegiate marketing firm that handles athletics multimedia rights for Clemson University, University of Kentucky, University of Pennsylvania, University of Georgia, Columbia University and the Ivy League. JMI Sports was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur and former San Diego Padres owner John Moores and Erik Judson, who serves as the company’s CEO.
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