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Sponsorship & Marketing

Naming rights focus: Worcestershire CCC & Texas State

Worcestershire County Cricket Club has regained a naming rights partner for its New Road ground through a deal with its local tourism board, while University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) has expanded its relationship with Texas State University by taking on naming rights to Bobcat Stadium.

New Road has been without a naming rights partner since the club announced that its deal with Blackfinch Investments would conclude at the end of the 2020 season. Blackfinch first partnered with Worcestershire in 2016 as the club’s official sleeve sponsor before stepping up as main sponsor at the end of the 2017 season. Under the five-year agreement, the club’s New Road stadium was rebranded as Blackfinch New Road.

Terms of the new deal with Visit Worcestershire were not disclosed, but it will see the ground renamed as Visit Worcestershire New Road. The partnership with Visit Worcestershire aims to showcase the best of Worcestershire around the globe and encourage more visitors to the county.

Joe Tromans, Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s head of commercial and partnerships, said: “Our club’s global reach is immense, and this partnership with Visit Worcestershire leverages that influence to benefit the entire county. 

“By renaming our ground to ‘Visit Worcestershire New Road,’ we are not just celebrating cricket, but also showcasing Worcestershire’s unique attractions to a worldwide audience. This initiative will play a crucial role in driving tourism, supporting local businesses, and highlighting the county’s rich cultural and natural heritage. 

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of promoting Worcestershire as a premier destination.”

Lorna Robinson, visitor economy manager at Visit Worcestershire, added: “This partnership with Worcestershire County Cricket Club is a fantastic opportunity to promote our county on an international stage. 

“’Visit Worcestershire New Road’ will serve as a beacon for the attractions, unique experiences and stunning destinations which makes Worcestershire a must-visit location. We are excited to work together to drive tourism in the county, increasing overnight stays to the region, supporting local businesses, and showcasing the diverse and vibrant offer we have here in Worcestershire.”

Worcestershire last month announced that it is considering a move to a new stadium amid ongoing problems regarding flooding at New Road. Worcestershire said the recent “unprecedented” record volume of flooding at New Road, coupled with the increasing regularity of flooding, has led to its board considering the club’s long-term future at the stadium. New Road has hosted Worcestershire matches since the late 19th century.

UFCU steps up with Texas State

Meanwhile, Texas State University and University Federal Credit Union have signed a multitiered agreement that will rebrand the football stadium at Texas State as UFCU Stadium and expand UFCU’s 11-year relationship across the Texas State campus.
Texas State said the naming rights deal is the largest corporate sponsorship in the Sun Belt Conference for naming rights at a football stadium and one of the largest for a college football stadium in the state of Texas. The naming rights deal is a 15-year, $23m (£18.1m/€21.2m) contract.
The expanded partnership between Texas State and UFCU will also go beyond the football stadium. UFCU will become the official credit union of Texas State University, open a full-service branch within the Lyndon B. Johnson Student Center in autumn 2024, and continue to offer a wide range of banking and financial counselling services to Texas State students, faculty and staff.

Since 2013, UFCU has served as one of Texas State’s most prominent corporate partners, providing nearly $3m to support university groups and initiatives, underwrite scholarships and internships, present financial workshops, and fund athletic programs.

“UFCU has dedicated itself to creating a positive impact in Central Texas and across the state since our inception 88 years ago,” said UFCU CEO and president, Michael Crowl. “The growth and prominence of Texas State University also reflect the difference they are making.

“Together, we will strengthen our undeniable influence as we help others achieve championship-level success. This innovative collaboration serves as yet another testament to how UFCU is reshaping the region and the state.”

UFCU Stadium was renovated to its current 30,000-capacity in 2012. It is currently undergoing a $37m upgrade with the Johnny and Nathali Weisman Football Performance Center and William Trevillion IV Weight Room Complex.

The project includes an 8,000-square foot weight room, new training room with enhanced rehab equipment and hydrotherapy pools, a players lounge, expanded team locker room, and hospitality areas for fans on gamedays.
Texas State director of athletics, Don Coryell, said: “We are in the middle of a tremendous run of success that has created unprecedented momentum across campus. To further that momentum, we are excited to expand our partnership with UFCU, which has chosen to invest in both Texas State Athletics and the entire university. “We are ready to welcome Bobcat fans to UFCU Stadium and looking forward to UFCU directly supporting our student-athletes through education and resources.”