Supermarket chain Kroger has been awarded naming rights for the University of Kentucky’s football stadium as an element of a new partnership deal.

JMI Sports, Kentucky’s multimedia rights partner, has entered into the agreement with Kroger that begins at approximately $1.85m (€1.7m/£1.43m) annually with a term of up to 12 years.

The new name, Kroger Field, still needs approval from the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees, with a meeting to take place today (Tuesday). The Kroger Field title will be reflected on interior, external and directional signage, as well as collateral materials related to the football stadium.

The stadium, which has been named Commonwealth Stadium since its original construction on 1973, underwent major renovations before it reopened in 2015.

“This is an unprecedented partnership that pairs two iconic brands – UK and Kroger – whose reach extends throughout the Commonwealth and far beyond our borders,” UK president Eli Capilouto said.

“Kroger shares our mission to serve Kentucky. And this partnership tangibly advances that mission, as evidenced by what it will allow us to do on our campus, but also as Kroger embarks on an ambitious effort to enhance health and wellness throughout Kentucky.”

Kroger will become the official fuel partner of the University of Kentucky and the official grocery partner of Move-In at Kentucky. The supermarket chain is also the official nutrition and pharmacy partner the university’s athletic department.

Additionally, Kroger and the University of Kentucky will work together to improve community fields in the region, as part of the Kroger Fields community program. The partnership will also organise a community 5K race – the Simple Truth 5K – that will finish at the 50-yard line at the newly renamed Kroger Field.

“Partnerships have driven every accomplishment we’ve made together,” said Dr. C.B. Akins, Sr., UK trustee and chair of the University Athletics Committee. “We’ve experienced unprecedented growth as an institution – an institution that exists for Kentucky. This partnership with Kroger symbolises – and extends – that commitment. Because of today’s announcement, we will continue to upgrade the experience for our fans, extend and enhance what we can do for our student-athletes, and provide more in services for our faculty, students and staff.”

Image: NAvin75 (Wikimedia)