High Point Solutions Purchases Naming Rights

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers University and High Point Solutions made it official this afternoon by announcing in a press conference a 10-year, $6.5 million deal for the naming rights to Rutgers Stadium. As of today, it will now be known as High Point Solutions Stadium.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – When Rutgers takes the field Sept. 1 against North Carolina Central, it will not be at Rutgers Stadium. As of June 21, the name officially became High Point Solutions Stadium.

Rutgers and High Point Solutions reached a 10-year, $6.5 deal for the naming rights to Rutgers Stadium and announced the agreement today in a press conference at the stadium.

"This agreement came together relatively quickly," said athletic director Tim Pernetti. "It was great to sit down with some people that really understand the value of Rutgers and our football program and understand the opportunity that we can provide their company and grow their business. Best case scenario, a New Jersey company, which is really what we set out to do in the beginning."

Pernetti said the revenue will go back into the football program, but that the deal is beneficial to both the entire athletic department and the university.

"From the time I started, I made a very bolt commitment to figure out ways to generate a significant amount of new revenue and I felt like this was one of the best opportunities we had," he said.

High Point Solutions Inc. is a Sparta, N.J. based IT company founded in 1996.

Partnering with a New Jersey company with similar values to the athletics department and football program was a crucial factor in choosing a sponsor for naming rights.

"It gives you more state involvement," said head coach Greg Schiano. "Now you're involved with one of the major state corporations. … I think it's something that makes sense."

From a recruiting angle, Schiano said it does not see a positive or negative effect with a name-change for the stadium.

"I don't think it does really [affect recruiting]," he said. "Any time Rutgers is in the paper again, any time Rutgers is on the internet, that's a good thing."

Schiano took a back seat to Pernetti and High Point co-founders Mike and Tom Mendiburu during the media session, but said that he was ecstatic to have the deal made.

"In these challenging times, financially, we have to be aggressive in trying to identify new revenue streams and Tim and his administration have done a great job," Schiano said. "You're looking at just under a million dollars a year that's going to go forward for the next 10 years between High Point Solutions and the Audi Club. It's expensive to run a college football program. You have assets, and if you're not capitalizing those assets, you're really not doing the best job."

Rutgers is now one of 10 universities to sell naming rights to its stadium. Many schools do not have the opportunities or are not interested in selling naming rights.

Both Pernetti and Schiano said they understand possible outcries from traditionalists on the matter. But between the values of the company and its relation to New Jersey, the decision simply felt right.

"The reality is we're always going to be the birthplace of college football," Schiano said. "The thing that I am thrilled is that whenever it is mentioned as the High Point Solutions Stadium, those guys run their business with the same core values as we run our football program."

Pernetti, a former player in the "Old" Rutgers Stadium, said he has a great appreciation for tradition, but has not seen too much resentment to the decision so far.

"I sense [resentment] a little bit," he said. "I don't sense a lot of it. I think whenever you do something like this, you run into traditionalists. I've run into traditionalists that tell me we shouldn't do anything about the RAC. I'm sitting there watching kids play basketball at 6 at night in a building in the summer that doesn't have air-conditioning and I say ‘you're kidding right?'

"Traditionalists are what's great about college sports, but at the same time, the business is about having all of these great pieces of real estate that we haven't maximized, not only for number of events, but for sponsorships. We're willing to walk down that path so long as we walk a tight line."

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