The home of Rutgers football has a new name, thanks to a new naming-rights deal that the university has signed. Beginning this season, the home of the Scarlet Knights will be called SHI Stadium (pronounced using the initials S H I), as Rutgers signed a multi-year deal with the New Jersey based IT company.
From the press release:
“This partnership formalizes the strong bond that has existed between Rutgers and SHI for almost 30 years,” said Thai Lee, President and CEO of SHI International. “Nearly 350 Rutgers alumni currently work at SHI, and more of our employees earned their degree at Rutgers than any other single college or university. With deep roots in New Jersey and influence felt around the globe, both SHI and Rutgers share a history, culture, and commitment to excellence that will make this partnership especially rewarding.”
”As the State University of New Jersey, we are thrilled to partner with SHI,” said Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. “Headquartered right here in Somerset, SHI proudly embraces its strong Rutgers ties. As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of college football here at the Birthplace, we are delighted to partner with a company that shares in our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. This partnership will positively impact athletics, the university and the New Jersey community.”
Founded in 1989 in Somerset, New Jersey, SHI International Corp. is a $10 billion global provider of technology products and services. You can visit the company’s website here.
“While Rutgers didn’t officially announce the financial terms, a person familiar with the contract told NJ Advance Media it’s a 7-year deal starting at $1.25 million and increasing by $100,000 annually to $1.85 million in 2025-26.”
“In June 2011, Rutgers agreed to an eight-year naming rights deal with then-named High Point Solutions worth $600,000 annually. So essentially Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs more than doubled the previous stadium naming-rights amount in Year 1 and more than tripled it in Year 7.”
Credit athletic director Pat Hobbs for signing a much more lucrative deal with this new partner. He had previously said this was a priority of his tenure and we can now add this to the list of positive steps forward the athletic department has made under his direction.
Rutgers will host its first sporting event at the new SHI Stadium on Friday, Aug. 30 for the season opener between the Scarlet Knights and UMASS at 7:15 p.m. BTN will televise its pregame show live outside the stadium. For more on that and other news from Big Ten Media Days, click here.
For my take on this naming rights deal and why it should be embraced, despite the jokes, click here.