University of Washington Media Relations

UW, Alaska Airlines Expand Partnership

SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines and the University of Washington today announced an expansion of their partnership that will benefit Huskies on the field and in the classroom. The agreement makes Alaska the official airline of all three campuses of the University of Washington for the next 10 years. 

The partnership, which is subject to approval by the university’s Board of Regents, makes Alaska the naming rights holder of Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium and the University of Washington Athletic Village presented by Alaska Airlines, as well as continuing its naming rights of Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. 

 

In exchange, Alaska Airlines will provide a total of $41 million over 10 years in support for student-athletes, as well as student and campus programming. Over half of the airline’s annual investment with the university will be earmarked directly for student-athlete scholarships and welfare, fitting into the company’s goal of supporting education in the communities it serves.

 

The UW and Alaska have worked together for nearly a decade through the airline’s partnerships with UW Athletics, the Foster School of Business and other campus entities. For example, this year, Alaska became the sponsor of the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge in collaboration with the UW’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The new agreement will allow Alaska to further deepen its partnership with the university over the next ten years to create even more new and innovative community and campus programs. 

 

Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium retains the iconic Husky Stadium identity while strengthening the partnership between two of Seattle’s leading institutions.  Husky Stadium’s seating capacity of 70,138 makes it the largest stadium, college or professional, in the Pacific Northwest and ranks it among the nation‘s top 15 largest on-campus facilities. 

 

“This agreement formally brings together two iconic local organizations for the next decade,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines. “Alaska is proud to be the official airline of the University of Washington, a pillar in the Seattle community with a rich tradition of academics and athletics.”  

 

The partnership with University of Washington is  the largest to date for Alaska Airlines and reflects its commitment as Seattle’s hometown airline, according to Tilden.

 

“I am thrilled that we can expand on a local connection and enhance a long-standing relationship with a Seattle company who shares our values so deeply. As the costs of funding a first-class student-athlete experience continue to rise, it is critical that we seek new and creative funding opportunities with partners who share our values, and I am pleased because that is exactly what we have done with Alaska Airlines,” Scott Woodward, UW director of athletics, said. “This exciting new agreement will work directly to fund our student-athlete experience and allow us to stay in front of the rising costs of funding student-athlete recruitment, scholarship, travel and competition.”

 

“We’re proud to expand our relationship with our hometown airline through an agreement that will benefit students on and off the field,” said Ana Mari Cauce, UW interim president. “We have an active, engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and fans, and it’s their energy and passion for our university that made this expanded partnership possible.”

 

The comprehensive airline category agreement which extends to all University of Washington campuses, comes as a result of combined efforts from the university’s Sponsorship Office and Intercollegiate Athletics representation, with the assistance of Navigate Research. Activation of the new agreement terms will begin with select executions, including field naming rights, as early as September, with the full terms activated prior to the 2016-2017 academic year.


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