Future name change at Cardinals stadiumPosted: Updated:
The Cardinals and the University of Phoenix have had a long partnership, highlighted by the name on the team’s stadium.
The partnership is continuing. But the stadium name will be changing at some point in the future.
The team and the school jointly announced that news Tuesday.
The University of Phoenix has been the big name since 2006 but has decided to bow out of its 20-year contract, nine years before it expires.
The $154.5 million deal paid the Cardinals an average of $7.7 million per year.
Apollo Education Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, has been hit with declining enrollment and regulatory scrutiny in recent years.
There is now word on when the name change will come but in the meantime, it will keep its current name.
University of Phoenix will continue to serve as the club’s official education partner.
The organizations hold an ongoing commitment to actively helping others achieve their goals in the classroom, and the University will continue teaming up with the Cardinals on programs like the Focus to the Finish Scholarship, MVPs in the Classroom, Classroom All-Stars and Donate to Educate which have meaningful and lasting impacts on the lives of both students and educators.
“Since opening in 2006, University of Phoenix Stadium has established itself as one of the preeminent facilities in the world as evidenced by the magnitude of top-tier events it has successfully hosted,” said Ron Minegar, Cardinals Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. “Our partners at University of Phoenix have been a major factor in that success which has not only been a tremendous source of community pride but also an unparalleled economic driver for Arizona. Considerable improvements and investments in recent years will allow that to continue. We look forward to continuing our relationship with University of Phoenix while at the same time are excited about identifying a new naming rights partner for the next era of the stadium’s success.”
The process to identify a new naming rights partner for the stadium is underway. “We have had very productive outreach with a number of interested parties,” said Minegar. “We anticipate that will continue and are finding this is an increasingly attractive asset. For the time being, University of Phoenix will continue to be our naming rights partner as we look to secure the type of strong brand alignment that we have enjoyed with the University since 2006.”
“Like many organizations, University of Phoenix is constantly evaluating and updating our public-facing initiatives and partnerships—and this includes reviewing our marketing strategy,” said Joan Blackwood, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer for University of Phoenix. “As the University further increases its focus on improving student retention, graduation rates, and employment-related outcomes, and has less of an emphasis on growth, we’ve identified areas to realign our marketing policies accordingly. Notwithstanding the tremendous value the University has received from its strategic partnership with the Arizona Cardinals, we have determined it’s best to evolve our partnership and shift away from stadium naming rights going forward.”
Added Blackwood, “As we move forward, we also reflect back on what a meaningful privilege it has been to be the founding named sponsor of the stadium. Throughout this partnership we have been proud to work with the Cardinals to strengthen, enliven and even inspire the Phoenix community. We congratulate them on their success as a franchise and thank them for the honor of being able to partner with this incredible team—one that will no doubt continue to rise. University of Phoenix will continue to work to improve the lives of our students, their families and future generations through education, and the Arizona Cardinals will continue to be a valuable partner in that effort.”
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