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Wachovia Deal Means Ads Inside UNC's Smith Center

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A historic sponsorship deal with Wachovia will give UNC-Chapel Hill fans the first glimpse of on-site advertising inside the Dean E. Smith Center.

Wachovia Corporation and UNC today announced an eight-year partnership that will allow for on-site sponsorship in several UNC athletic facilities.

The advertising, which university officials describe as "tasteful," will allow the university to improve the Smith Center, which has not had a substantial upgrade in its 20-year history.

"The Smith Center has been home to Carolina Basketball for 20 years, the same length of time the men played in Carmichael Auditorium, and the building is due for a number of upgrades and repairs that have been delayed for financial reasons," Dick Baddour, UNC's Director of Athletics, said in a statement. "Those include fixing the sound system, seats, concessions, the concourse and lighting."

Details of the sponsorship deal include:

  • Funding to maintain and improve UNC athletic facilities, including the Dean E. Smith Center, Olympic sports venues, sports medicine and student-athlete service programs, including academic counseling, career development and community outreach programs.
  • On-site Wachovia presence at the Dean E. Smith Center (men's basketball) includes a 6-foot by 8-foot permanent display on two video boards located above upper-level seating and a display on the courtside LED board.
  • Other on-site Wachovia signage at Boshamer Stadium (baseball), Carmichael Auditorium (women's basketball) and Fetzer Field (men's and women's lacrosse and soccer), and continued electronic messaging at Kenan Stadium (football).
  • Special programs for students and alumni.
  • "This action fully supports the recommendation by the UNC Board of Trustees and the task force appointed by the trustees to add on-site sponsorship in a limited and tasteful way with a company that has strong integrity and national impact," said Baddour said. "Wachovia is that type of a company and I have no doubt that this will be a mutually beneficial partnership."