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Athletic director: Rutgers fielding offers for basketball arena sponsorship

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Athletic director Tim Pernetti speaks with the media in this file photo. (NJBIZ)
Athletic director Tim Pernetti speaks with the media in this file photo. (NJBIZ)

In an increasing effort to make the athletic department more financially self sufficient, Rutgers University athletic director Tim Pernetti said the department is looking into a sponsorship deal for the Louis Brown Athletic Center, affectionately know as the RAC to students and fans.

Pernetti said the school is riding a wave of interest after High Point Solutions Inc., in Sparta, signed a 10-year deal for naming rights to the football stadium in June.

"Our basketball arena … has always been very high on the priority list, as was the football stadium," Pernetti said. "As we're putting our plans together to do a major renovation and construction of a practice facility at the RAC, which I updated our board of governors on (Wednesday), there are several naming conversations going on around this building as well."

Pernetti said the renovation will benefit the 19 varsity sports that use the RAC, which opened in 1977.

"Since we got the naming deal done on the football stadium, we've had a terrific amount of interest from, again, mostly New Jersey companies for the opportunity, and we're optimistic that we can get something done here as well," Pernetti said.

IMG College and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment were brought on to assist in the football stadium deal, but Pernetti said it was too early in the process to tell if the sponsorship experts would be brought in for additional deals.

"Since the stadium announcement, a lot of that interest has come directly to us, and some of it has been by existing partners that have been sponsors of Rutgers athletics for years," Pernetti said. "We're going to continue to cultivate those discussions on our own right now, but I think if things continue to warm up, we're certainly always looking to surround ourselves with good people to get these things done the right way."

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