The Arizona Cardinals are shopping the naming rights to University of Phoenix Stadium, as it was announced on Tuesday that the team is seeking a new partner.
The Cardinals and Apollo Education Group–the parent company of the University of Phoenix–have revealed that they will not be moving forward with their naming rights deal. The University of Phoenix has had its name on the stadium since the facility’s opening in 2006, and acquired the naming rights as part of a 20-year contract that was worth $154.5 million.
Going forward, however, the Cardinals will have to acquire a new naming rights sponsor. While the two sides plan to continue their corporate partnership in other ways, it was decided that the Cardinals should pursue an agreement with a different entity for the stadium’s name. More from AZ Central:
The University of Phoenix will keep its name on the stadium until a new sponsor is found, a team executive said. The school will continue to be the team’s “official education partner,” and it plans to focus on educational success stories, such as Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald earning his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Phoenix.
“We will continue to invest in what happens in the classroom and focus on graduates and the degrees they need to continue to succeed in their lives,” said Joan Blackwood, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for University of Phoenix.
Blackwood said Apollo’s recent business challenges had nothing to do with pulling out of the naming rights deal. Instead, the company wanted to change its marketing focus. She said both sides began talks a few months ago about having the Cardinals find a new naming rights partner.
Talks already are underway for a new sponsor, said Ron Minegar, the team’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The stadium has been the home of the Cardinals since its opening, and has hosted several major events in its history, including two Super Bowls and the most recent NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Image courtesy Arizona Cardinals.