3M commits US$11.2 million to Gopher Athletics

14-year deal with University of Minnesota secures naming rights to Mariucci Arena.

3M commits US$11.2 million to Gopher Athletics

The University of Minnesota has announced a new 14-year deal with 3M, which will see the company sponsor the college’s Gopher Athletics division.

The deal - which extends a 90-year relationship - is worth US$11.2 million, and secures the Minnesota-based conglomerate with the naming rights to the Gopher’s Mariucci Arena ice hockey facility, which will now be known formally as the 3M Arena at Mariucci.

3M will also fund the construction of a new Athletes Village, which will include an expanded and modernised academic centre, a nutrition education and dining space, and an innovative leadership centre to help student-athletes develop the required skills for future careers.

“Today's announcement brings together three names instantly recognisable across Minnesota - Mariucci, Gopher Hockey and 3M - and that's certainly exciting,” said the University of Minnesota’s athletics director Mark Coyle. “This sponsorship will have a broad impact across our athletics department by supporting construction of our new Athletes Village.

“By partnering with us, 3M is investing in every current and future Gopher student-athlete, the future leaders of our state. 3M will be a big reason why each of those young men and women have a first-class experience at Minnesota that prepares them for the rest of their lives.”

“3M and the University are long-time collaborators, and alumni contribute greatly to our success, innovation and growth,” added Paul Acito, vice president and chief marketing officer at 3M. “Our sponsorship of Mariucci Arena and Gopher hockey is a tribute to our Minnesota roots, and an opportunity to support a great Minnesota tradition alongside a new generation of fans. Keeping the Mariucci name on the building is an important element of this agreement.”