Vanderbilt-FirstBank naming rights deal


Vanderbilt University stadium naming rights Image: Vanderbilt University Commodores

The Vanderbilt University in Nashville (US) and FirstBank have signed a 10-year football stadium naming rights and campus collaboration agreement, as announced on August 29th by Candice Lee, Vice-Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director of the varsity.

‘Vanderbilt University Commodores’ stated that the Vanderbilt Stadium will be recognized as the FirstBank Stadium starting with the 2022 Commodore football season. Through this agreement the FirstBank becomes the official bank of Vanderbilt Athletics and the Vanderbilt Alumni Association.

The Vanderbilt University is a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee (US). Founded in 1873, it was named in honor of the shipping and rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided the school its initial $1-million endowment. Vanderbilt enrolls approximately 13,800 students from the United States and over 100 foreign countries.

The Vanderbilt Commodores football program represents Vanderbilt University in the sport of American football. The Commodores compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the East Division of the Southeastern Conference.

The 39,790-capacity FirstBank Stadium is a football stadium located in Nashville, Tennessee (US). Completed in 1922 as the first stadium in the South to be used exclusively for college football, it is the home of the Vanderbilt University football team.

Stated Lee, “I’m excited for the opportunities this historic collaboration with FirstBank creates for Vanderbilt Athletics and our student-athletes. As the landscape of collegiate athletics continues to shift, we remain committed to our core mission. We will provide student-athletes with the tools to reach their full potential on and off the field and work to unite and inspire the City we call home. I look forward to seeing Nashville come together to support the Commodores at the FirstBank Stadium for years to come.”

‘Vanderbilt University Commodores’ further stated that Vanderbilt will uphold and honor the designation of Dudley Field – the venue’s original name when it opened in 1922 – as the first stadium in the South to be erected exclusively for college football.

As Vanderbilt marks the 100th anniversary of Vanderbilt Stadium and Dudley Field this year, construction related to Vandy United will begin to transform the North and South end zones. From concerts and commencements to presidential speeches and football games, the stadium remains a place for the Vanderbilt community and the City of Nashville to come together and celebrate.

The largest undertaking of its kind in school history, Vandy United represents a bold step for Vanderbilt Athletics. A $300 million investment in student-athletes and athletics programs, the Vandy United Fund will support major facilities and operational enhancements. Vandy United will elevate each sport at Vanderbilt, transform the athletics footprint on campus, build the best student-athlete experience in college sports, and create an immersive gameday experience for Commodore Nation.

Stated Daniel Diermeier, the Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, “Vanderbilt is a Nashville institution – in, of and for the City. This agreement with FirstBank, and the possibilities it creates, forges a new kind of collaborative connection among our university, our community and our Commodore student-athletes as we all – to use our university motto – ‘dare to grow’ and realize our shared potential together.”

Headquartered in Nashville, FirstBank has 81 full-service bank branches across Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia, and a national mortgage business with offices across the Southeast. The bank serves five of the major metropolitan markets in Tennessee and has approximately $12.6 billion in total assets. FirstBank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the FB Financial Corp.

Stated Chris Holmes, FirstBank President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), “For more than a century, the FirstBank has built its reputation by believing in the power and potential of our community. Partnering with Vanderbilt reinforces our shared commitment to the idea that world-class excellence can have local roots. We believe the FirstBank Stadium is more than a name. It represents an opportunity to strengthen this community and mentor leaders who will shape an even brighter future.”

In addition to football stadium naming rights, the relationship includes a comprehensive multimedia arrangement with Vanderbilt Athletics for all varsity programs. The FirstBank will also participate in Vanderbilt student and alumni engagement opportunities, including the sponsorship of student internships and select alumni programing, such as the Owen Graduate School of Management’s Owen Forward alumni engagement speaker series.

Additionally, the FirstBank will have the opportunity to conduct on-campus workshops and provide financial products supporting innovation and startup activities at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt was assisted in the national search for a naming rights and campus partner by the Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE), a representation, management, sales, consulting, and marketing agency with offices across the United States.

LEARFIELD, a media, data and technology services leader in intercollegiate athletics and Vanderbilt’s multimedia rights partner, worked with the university and ISE on this agreement.

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