Washington State University Athletics and Gesa Credit Union have announced a partnership to provide Gesa the naming rights to the playing surface at Martin Stadium, now named Gesa Field. The 10-year agreement is valued at a minimum $11 million, that will escalate as additional Gesa consumer-based incentives are reached.
"Washington State University was established 130 years ago to serve the citizens of our state," said Kirk Schulz, President of Washington State University. "That commitment to improving the lives of Washingtonians is in our DNA. For that reason, we are thrilled to partner with Gesa Credit Union, an organization that shares our pledge to community service."
The partnership between WSU and Gesa is the credit union's latest commitment to making a positive impact in the communities it serves across the region.
"This is an exciting day for our team members and nearly 260,000 members throughout Washington state," said Don Miller, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. "WSU's mission to advance, extend and apply knowledge aligns with our mission and long tradition of supporting educational causes. Partnering with WSU Athletics provides Gesa with elevated name recognition to expand our reach and strengthen membership, and supports education, students, and alumni by positively impacting our communities through financial education and awareness, all while continuing to return value to our members."
The agreement with WSU Athletics will formalize the first major sponsorship announced under the new Gesa Credit Union which recently merged with Inspirus Credit Union making it the second-largest credit union in the state. Under this new agreement, specially designed WSU co-branded debit and credit cards will be available to members that directly support student-athletes. Each time cardholders swipe their WSU co-branded Gesa VISA® debit or credit card, a donation is made to the Cougar Athletic Fund which supports student-athletes in continuing their education. The WSU co-branded cards are free to Gesa members with a checking account. Community members wishing to obtain a WSU Gesa VISA® debit or credit card can visit one of Gesa's branches and have a new card instantly printed or receive one by mail to support WSU student-athletes.
"Today begins a historic partnership between Gesa Credit Union and Washington State University," said WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun. "This partnership unites two organizations with a shared vision of educating and impacting communities throughout the state of Washington and Pacific Northwest. In addition, this partnership will impact our goal of providing a first-class experience for our student-athletes. We welcome Gesa Credit Union as the newest members of the WSU Family and look forward to great victories, memories and moments for WSU Football taking place on Gesa Field."
Beyond the naming of Gesa Field, Gesa Credit Union will have a significant visual presence within the football stadium, including digital and static signage, game entitlement opportunities, as well as branding within other WSU Athletic venues and satellite campuses. Additional opportunities include promotion on the Cougar Radio Network and collaboration on WSU Athletics-branded products and services.
Several new products and incentives also will be offered to Gesa members and Coug fans across the Northwest, including a student-run branch in the heart of the Pullman campus scheduled to open September 2021. Gesa members will be eligible for early access and exclusive ticket discounts for football events and post-season play. Gesa will offer WSU-themed account packages, drawings for exclusive events, discounted single-game tickets to WSU Athletics, Junior Cougar Kids Club offerings, select VIP parking, and Gesa member-only access areas on gamedays. Members can learn more by following Gesa on social and at gesa.com/wsu.
The Cougars' first game at the newly-named Gesa Field is scheduled for Sept. 4, 2021, when WSU hosts Utah State. Gesa Credit Union's brand-new relationship with WSU Athletics – Gesa's first foray into the collegiate landscape – came together with the assistance of Learfield IMG College, the university's athletics multimedia rights holder, ISE Properties, a division of Independent Sports & Entertainment, and Leona Marketing Group.
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