BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Fresh on the heels of announcing that private prison company GEO Group bought the naming rights to FAU's football stadium comes word that the school is entering into a marketing agreement that may bring major acts to the venue.
BocaNewsNow.com is unclear if any of the potential acts will include artists performing the songs: “Jailhouse Rock,” “Prisoner Of Love,” or Sting's “Illegal Alien,” or whether Boca-based GEO Group has veto power over performers.
GEO Group is considered controversial by many for providing prison facilities that house illegal immigrants under a contract with the U.S. Government.
According to Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment (SSE) have announced a dynamic and innovative marketing partnership that features SSE securing events and concerts for GEO Group Stadium. As part of the agreement, the BB&T Center potentially will host an FAU non-conference basketball game or tournament during the 2013-14 season and the University will have an increased presence at Florida Panthers home games in Sunrise, Fla.
SSE’s highly-successful event programming team, which currently has the BB&T Center ranked No. 18 in the country by Pollstar – the only trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry – will focus on booking shows, developing a concert series and bringing other entertainment events to GEO Group Stadium. Opened in 2011 on the University’s Boca Raton campus, the 29,419-seat stadium is home to the Owls football team and is the only college football venue in the country with a view of the ocean.
FAU’s men’s basketball team, led by Coach Mike Jarvis, has played two games at BB&T Center. The Owls faced the University of Miami on Dec. 19, 2009, and Dec. 17, 2011, with both games part of the annual Orange Bowl Classic.
“We are thrilled to announce this exciting and unique new partnership with Florida Atlantic University,” said Michael R. Yormark, SSE president. “FAU is a university on the rise with a growing athletic program and an incredible new football stadium that gives us the opportunity to attract quality programming to their venue. Our staff at SSE is excited about the opportunity to work with FAU, President Mary Jane Saunders, Athletic Director Patrick Chun, and their staffs to help fulfill their grand vision for this incredible university.”
FAU will receive exposure through BB&T Center signage and a variety of SSE’s internal media assets, including radio, television, upper-level billboards and LED ribbon boards during all BB&T Center concerts, shows and Panthers games. FAU students will be able to take advantage of discounted tickets available one hour prior to every Panthers regular-season game and select BB&T events.
In addition, the Panthers will host FAU Owls Nights. As part of the festivities, members of the FAU community will be able to take advantage of ticket, drink and food specials by presenting their Owl Card; the FAU mascot, “Owlsley,” and cheer/dance team will greet fans and perform during intermissions; and FAU messaging will dominate game-day platforms such as the center ice scoreboard and in-game announcements on television and radio.
SSE is also offering semester-long internship programs for FAU students in the music business administration and sports management curriculum, while SSE executives will serve as guest speakers for FAU classes and events.
“This is an innovative partnership,” said Chun, who oversees an athletic department featuring 19 varsity sports and nearly 450 student-athletes at FAU. “Michael Yormark and the Sunrise Sports & Entertainment team are well-respected not only in this market but throughout the entire sports industry. We are excited about the partnership and look forward to working together.”
SSE, the premier company of its kind in South Florida, also has the option to sell naming rights to FAU Arena. Nicknamed “The Burrow,” FAU Arena is home to the Owls men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams.