Apogee Stadium, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

Date Announced: Aug. 12

Owner/Tenant: UNT, Mean Green Athletics

Terms: $20 million over 20 years, both in cash and in kind

The University of North Texas in Denton has agreed to a 20-year, $20-million naming rights deal with Apogee, an Austin-based technology company, for their new stadium. The 31,000-capacity football stadium will now be referred to as Apogee Stadium.

Apogee has managed a residential network for UNT’s students since 2007. They provide the service, called ‘ResNet,’ to a number of other academic institutions.

CEO and President of Apogee Chuck Brady said the partnership made sense because “you wouldn’t see us doing any sponsorships in the retail mass market since Apogee only works in education.”

According to the contract between the University and Apogee, the IT company will pay a total of $11.8 million in cash and $8.2 million in in-kind services over 20 years on a sliding scale. The first year, Apogee will pay $312,000 cash and $280,000 in kind; they will pay $1 million cash and over $500,000 in kind the last three years of the contract.

Brady explained what the in-kind services will entail. “We’ll keep providing ResNet and provide increased service levels without additional cost to the University — there are enhancements to it as well,” he said. UNT will serve as a showcase for Apogee’s services.

Associate Director of Athletics at UNT, Eric Capper, said that Apogee will provide the resident students at the University with increased service. “Apogee will increase broadband capabilities that are already on campus and they’re going to do a lot of stuff within the actual stadium itself, including adding wi-fi points,” he said.

“It’s really a win-win for us because we’ll be getting increased services from Apogee along with the cash they’ll pay for the naming rights,” Capper added.

The contract states that Apogee will have the right to utilize stadium spaces for corporate events up to six times each year. They also will have the use of a 20-person luxury suite for each event. Also, the contract states, “UNT will use its best efforts to provide Apogee with a personal introduction to the executive officers of any Higher Education Conference, Consortium or Association.” This will allow Apogee to create connections that could lead to business opportunities for ResNet at other universities.

“We want to turn UNT into a real technology showcase where our prospective clients can come talk to our current clients,” Brady said.

In addition to the suite and 20 tickets that come with it, there is a significant signage agreement. The contract stipulates that there will be corporate signage advertisements in the form of a double sided LED screen on the freeway leading to the stadium, two permanent scoreboard advertisements, three concourse signs and other signage around the main field as well as the basketball area and Fouts Field.

There are also various media benefits including “a minimum of one scoreboard feature promotion for all UNT Mean Green home football games… one full-page ad in the official football game-day program,” and one logo placement on both football team posters and schedule cards, as well as two 30-second radio commercials.

Nat Nealeigh, director of Marketing and Communications at Apogee, said that the University actually approached Apogee with the naming rights proposal. “We were a little surprised because it wasn’t something that we had ever considered,” he said, “but once we decided to do it the deal came together extremely quickly.”

The contract, which was signed Aug. 12, was solidified in about 90 days.

“We wanted to find a company that fit with the mission and the goal of UNT. We started by looking at companies which were already doing business with us and had a vested interest in the University,” said Capper. He said that UNT worked with John Alper, who was then at Premier Partnerships, to bring the deal together.

The first game at the stadium will be Sept. 10.

“We’re hoping that signs are up by the first game,” said Nealeigh, who added that “we had one of our employee’s parents drive by the stadium and they reported back that the words ‘Apogee Stadium’ are up, but there’s still some signage to go.”

Interviewed for this story: Charles Brady, (512) 478-8858; Eric Capper, (940) 565-2476; Nat Nealeigh, (512) 478-8858 x124