Packers add college partner

File photo (WLUK)

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have an official health care partner, an official beer and an official bank. Now the team has a college partner.

UW-Green Bay will pay about $200,000 a year for a new agreement to be called a "Higher Education Partner of the Green Bay Packers."

The university has about 6,700 students. It's hoping this new partnership will bring in even more.

"As more and more adults are returning to college, they're going to have opportunities to do that at various universities, and we think it's important that they see UW-Green Bay as a viable online option," said Eric Craver, the director of external relations for the school's Division of Outreach and Adult Access.

"You put that 'G' on anything, and it's good as gold," said Aaron Baer of Baer Performance Marketing in Ashwaubenon.

Baer says a connection with the Packers has plenty of value.

"The great thing about partnering with the Packers is their market is anyone and everyone," he said. "Whether you're a traditional student, a part-time student, a non-traditional student, the Packers fans are of all ages."

The agreement will be paid for by UWGB's Division of Outreach and Adult Access. Craver says that cost will be offset if the university gains about 40 more undergraduate students a year.

"We really think that that figure demonstrates an effort both on us to be responsible stewards of public money, and what it also does is it demonstrates a commitment by the Green Bay Packers to make sure that we get a strong relationship with the Packers," he said.

Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey says the team considers marketing agreements of all forms.

"We get approached and we approach others, and it really needs to make sense for both organizations to enter that partnership," said Popkey.

The university and the team plan to work together to promote several events including a new 'UW-Green Bay Day' at the Lambeau Field Atrium.

"Anywhere where we can connect the two brands and indicate that we are a higher education partner of the Green Bay Packers, we're going to be doing that," said Craver.

There are a number of other connections between the Packers and UWGB. Some students serve as Packers cheerleaders during home games.

Team President and CEO Mark Murphy also helps and advises the university with fundraising as a member of the Chancellor's Council of Trustees.