WATERBURY and STORRS, Conn. – Webster Bank, the University of Connecticut, and IMG College today announced a major relationship agreement making Webster Bank “The Official Bank of UConn.” The partnership spans all UConn constituencies including more than 200,000 alumni, 28,000 students, and all sports.
The unique partnership for the first time encompasses all aspects of the University, including Athletics and the Alumni Association, and integrates media, hospitality, and venue signage as well as use of University intellectual property for branding, promotions, and affinity marketing. Additionally, Webster will support UConn youth and community relations programs as well as the new 70,000-square-foot UConn Basketball Development Center to be built on the current Memorial Stadium site adjacent to Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“This wide-ranging partnership brings together two dynamic brands – Connecticut’s flagship educational institution and the state’s largest homegrown commercial bank – in a robust marketing effort,” said Jerry Plush, president and chief operating officer of Webster. “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. This partnership underscores Webster’s commitment to UConn and its fans as well as Webster’s confidence in UConn’s exciting future as a leading university.”
“We are grateful for Webster Bank’s commitment to UConn Athletics,” said UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “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. Additionally, through its contribution to our new Basketball Development Center, Webster has recognized the importance of in maintaining the excellence in our nationally-recognized basketball programs. On behalf of everyone associated with UConn Athletics – our coaches, staff and most importantly, our student-athletes – we are proud to welcome Webster Bank to the Husky family.”
“The Alumni Association is excited to align UConn graduates with an institution as outstanding as Webster,” said UConn Alumni Association Executive Director Lisa Lewis. “This new relationship with Webster Bank will allow us to create a more dynamic affinity card and banking program for our more than 200,000 UConn alumni. In addition, Webster’s sponsorship of Homecoming and Alumni Weekend will help us make these signature events better than ever. By having the same banking partner as the Division of Athletics, we are also excited to promote these alumni offerings at the many UConn athletic and alumni events during the year.”
“A popular buzz phrase in sports marketing is ‘full integration,’ yet few local and regional sponsors truly develop a program touching every facet of a school’s athletic programs and constituencies,” said Ben C. Sutton Jr., President of IMG College, which represents the athletic sponsorship and media rights for UConn and nearly 100 other schools coast to coast. “Webster Bank’s fully integrated sponsorship of the Huskies is a smart and comprehensive approach, aligning the bank with one of the most passionate fan bases in sports. It adds up to the largest local sponsorship at any IMG College property.”
About Webster Bank
With $19 billion in assets, Webster Bank provides business and consumer banking, mortgages, financial planning, and trust and investment services through 167 banking offices stretching Boston to Westchester County, N.Y., 466 ATMs, telephone banking, mobile banking, and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at websterbank.com.
About IMG College
IMG College is the nation’s leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company, representing more than 200 of the nation’s top collegiate properties including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College employs more than 700 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the U.S., capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, licensing, events and hospitality, marketing, stadium and arena development, stadium seating solutions, ticketing, sales, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming on the largest independent sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications, and is the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit imgworld.com.
About the UConn Alumni Association:
Established in 1888, the University of Connecticut Alumni Association (UCAA) serves more than 225,000 alumni worldwide. The UCAA’s mission is to strengthen lifelong bonds among all members of the UConn family by inspiring pride and providing quality programs and services that enhance the diverse University community. Membership is open to all alumni and friends of the University. uconnalumni.com.