KSU stadium to be named for Fifth Third
by Jon Gillooly
February 14, 2013 03:52 PM | 10055 views | 10 10 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, after Kennesaw State University's football team press conference, Vince Dooley, chair of the football exploratory committee; Dr. Jerome Ratchford, vice president of Student Success; Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams; University President Daniel Papp; Student Government Association President Rosalyn Hedgepeth; and Randy Koporc, president of Fifth Third Bank of Georgia, stand together for photographs.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
From left, after Kennesaw State University's football team press conference, Vince Dooley, chair of the football exploratory committee; Dr. Jerome Ratchford, vice president of Student Success; Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams; University President Daniel Papp; Student Government Association President Rosalyn Hedgepeth; and Randy Koporc, president of Fifth Third Bank of Georgia, stand together for photographs.
Staff/Emily Barnes
slideshow
Former Kennesaw State University president Betty Siegel, center, picks up a balloon after the press conference announcing a new football team. ‘I used to be a cheerleader. I really was,’ Siegel said. ‘Go Owls!’ <br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Former Kennesaw State University president Betty Siegel, center, picks up a balloon after the press conference announcing a new football team. ‘I used to be a cheerleader. I really was,’ Siegel said. ‘Go Owls!’
Staff/Emily Barnes
slideshow
KENNESAW — A $5 million contribution secured Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank the naming rights to the Kennesaw State University stadium, KSU President Dan Papp announced on Thursday.

Randy Koporc, president of Fifth Third Bank Georgia, said the connection between KSU and his bank came from several trustees on the KSU Foundation, such as Norm Radow, president of The Radco Companies, and Barry Hyman, a principal of Veracor.

“They knew of us and have become friends with Fifth Third, so it was a chance for us to connect, and we were able to expand some business relationships and connections brought us together,” Koporc said. “We’ve been on the ground since late 2008 in Georgia, so it was an opportunity to accelerate our brand. That meeting happened, we had dinner, and talked a little bit about the vision for football, and for us, we looked at a partner checklist of who we wanted to be associated with, finding something that was new territory, that wasn’t a plug-in, and this was an opportunity for us to do that.”

The goal was to find a partner who already had credibility in the community, something KSU has as Georgia’s third-largest university with an enrollment of 24,600 students.

“Kennesaw State is a fast emerging brand, somebody like Coach (Vince) Dooley’s sponsorship and assignment to this also added that other element of having that visibility we wanted to see and just the enthusiasm and passion that we see around football, and we also wanted a catalyst,” Koporc said. “So in addition to the university’s growth … football was that catalyst for us to want to be a part of that.”

In addition to the naming rights of the stadium, which will be called the Fifth Third Bank Stadium, the company will be the official bank of Kennesaw State Athletics, and it will receive sponsorship recognition at the KSU Convocation Center, Bailey Field and Stillwell Stadium, and advertising in game programs, television and radio broadcasts.

“Part of this, too, will be bringing ATMs and micro-branches to the university itself,” he said. “It really supports our franchise that we’re growing in east Cobb and throughout metro Atlanta.”

Fifth Third Bancorp, which reports $117 billion in assets, has 31 locations in Georgia, 10 of which are in Cobb County.

Papp said while the original estimate to launch a football program at KSU was pegged at $7 million to $10 million, that sum included the need to purchase additional athletic fields.

“As a result of the tremendous cooperation that has developed between the athletic department and club sports and intramurals, that money was no longer needed because now the athletic department for field-oriented sports will be able to basically rent some of the sports fields. … So that lowered the cost because we no longer needed to buy 15 additional acres,” Papp said.

While the $5 million bank sponsorship will launch the football program, Papp said he hopes to receive other sponsorships as well.

“We have letters of intent from a number of different organizations regarding rentals of the boxes over at the stadium,” Papp said. “If we wind up getting sufficient additional funds, we would put in a large press box, we would move some of the lights, we would put in a couple of additional buildings for equipment storage, but if we don’t get the additional funds we can run major programs there right as the stadium is. The best way to look at it is right now the stadium is really extremely good. The add-ons would make the stadium, let’s call it perfect.”

Papp said those additional sponsorships could bring in another $3.5 million to $4 million, assuming 100 percent of the boxes are rented out. Renting the boxes would bring in about $350,000 per year, he said.

“Ten boxes at 35 per year is $350,000,” Papp said. “You would finance the entire additional package over perhaps a 20-year period, thereby amortizing the cost over that period, so you would be paying off a little bit each year.”

A sum of $350,000 over 10 years is $3.5 million or $7 million over 20 years, he said.

Among those in attendance during the announcement Thursday at the Convocation Center was Dr. Betty Siegel, who during her tenure as KSU’s president from 1981 to 2006, put the university on the map by growing it from 4,000 students to 18,000.

Siegel smiled as she heard that the KSU’s inaugural football game had been scheduled for August 2015, a game she intends to attend.

“I used to be a cheerleader. I really was,” Siegel said. “Go Owls!”
Comments
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Be Careful
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February 15, 2013
Nobody questions that UGA has a football program.

Nobody questions that Alabama has a football program.

What are the fees/ticket prices there?

KSU is the third largest university in the state, and by 2017, with a projected 30,000 students it will be the SECOND largest university in the state.

Just because they haven't had football is no reason they should not start a program.

Go tell UGA, Ga Tech, Alabama, FLorida that they don't need a football program.

This is going to be great for the school, just like other football programs bring national recognition to other schools.

Why don't you go to the Cobb County School Board and tell them they are wasting millions of dollars on high school football.

Does it benefit the students to pay $600,000 for an artificial turf field?

Why don't you all just chill and enjoy that there will be college football in Cobb County for the first time EVER!
Be Very Careful
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February 16, 2013
This whole argument about football bringing national recognition is a joke. Kennesaw State is a university, not a professional sports franchise. When a university is known more for it's athletics than it's academics, something went terribly wrong along the way.

I have no problem with a school adding football. I do have a problem with how it's funded. If you are going to sell out to a bank for naming rights to all your athletic venues for millions of dollars and then stadium boxes for several more million, it's insane to make a college student pay an extra $200 dollars a year. Why not just include that cost within the sponsorship deal. If a student wants to help support the team, they can do it through buying tickets to the games.

A Taxpayer
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February 15, 2013
The higher-ups at Kennesaw State University have mastered the art of sticking it to the students in the form of increased fees and hiked tuition, against the majority of the student's wishes, and the entire time they do it, they never lose those great big smiles! They know exactly how to smile right in your face and stick their hand in your pocket for more money at the same time. I don't know where they learned it, but as long as the students and the public sit back and let them, they'll keep it up!
Wow34
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February 15, 2013
If i'm not mistaken, the current student body overwhelmingly voted to accept this increase in fees. As an alum of KSU, this sponsorship is no different than what other schools do in similar situations. Im not sure I understand all of the negativity towards the continued growth of the school and its activities. I do hope that students get free tickets similar to other football schools.
WRONGWAY
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February 15, 2013
The student body didn't overwhelmingly approve an increase in fees. They had a poll set up on a website several years ago that was open to anyone that wanted to vote. It was meant for students only, but there was nothing stopping anyone else from voting.

The school has over 24,000 students. A little over 7,000 people participated in the poll. A little over half of those approved of a fee increase for football. That's less than 4,000 students out of 24,000 students.

What's overwhelming is that they are actually using that poll as a way to push football. It really doesn't matter though, because the people at the top will do what they want to do without student approval.
ECP
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February 15, 2013
As I stated in my post, the alum will be happy. The current students will not be happy. Let the alum throw in 100.00 each. Do this every semester. I wonder if all alum would do that, just as all current and future students will have to do to make the administration look good.
Joke
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February 15, 2013
$117 billion in assets, making business connections, throwing in recognizable names like Vince Dooley, expensive stadium boxes, ATM's on campus, advertising signage...........

The President of Kennesaw State should be apologizing to the students for using them as pawns in his little game. This is a complete joke!

Current students get in free to all the sporting events right now. President Papp are you going keep football free for all the students or slap them in the face again by making them buy expensive tickets? We'll see where your loyalty stands.
ECP
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February 15, 2013
....and in the end....none of it helps the students. This does go a long way in boosting the name of the KSU President. Bringing a football team to the school does not help students because it raises fees by 100.00. I make that in two hours. The ones attending the university don't, and in fact many need all the money they can hold onto, without spending an extra 100.00. The picture shows a happy band of officials and university personnel, smiling as if they just did something great. Perhaps, for them, it is something great. It helps them look good. I want to see pictures of smiling students after they have been told their fees are increasing. Who is renting the boxes? It's not the students. Sure, some alum may be happy. Why not talk about the current students?
Be Careful
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February 14, 2013
The AJC is reporting the amount at $5 million.

$500,000 per year for 10 years.
CrazyTimes
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February 14, 2013
The official bank of Kennesaw State! I see it already.......the bank will have to approve you for enrollment into the school. Submit your high school transcripts, SAT score and credit history to the branch office on Chastain. The only way you can pay your tuition is through automatic deductions from your Fifth Third checking account. You'll get that nice diploma at graduation with a bank logo on it.
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