A major player in Richmond residential real estate has joined the Rams’ growing roster of corporate sponsors.
Long & Foster has signed a five-year, six-figure sponsorship deal with VCU Athletics that includes naming rights for a multipurpose room in the department’s Basketball Development Center, in addition to advertising and event sponsorship opportunities.
The center’s renamed Long & Foster Conference Room hosts business meetings and serves as the university’s pre-game hospitality suite for major donors. The deal also gives Long & Foster a suite at the Siegel Center where agents can host clients at men’s and women’s basketball games.
The deal was facilitated by Long & Foster’s Brian Haug, a VCU alum who the brokerage tapped in June to lead its Richmond market as regional manager. Haug said the deal is different from the company’s other marketing for agent involvement, as agents will be able to use the suite, tour the facility before games, and receive personalized marketing both inside the stadium and on radio broadcasts.
“Whenever we’re doing marketing, we want to do big and bold,” Haug said. “There’s a lot of passion there at VCU. They’ve sold out 100 straight games and done very well.”
Haug declined to disclose an exact dollar figure for the sponsorship, which the company describes as its first large-scale sponsorship with the university. It is the latest corporate sponsorship for VCU Athletics since the department signed a $20 million multimedia rights deal with Texas-based Learfield Sports in 2015.
Other local companies with comparable sponsorship deals include CoStar Group, Elephant Insurance, Virginia Premier Health Plan and WestRock, said Robby Robinson, who coordinates corporate sponsorships as general manager of VCU Sports Properties in addition to his broadcast duties as the “Voice of the Rams.” VCU Sports Properties is the local entity that Learfield Sports established to work directly with the athletics department.
Robinson said he couldn’t disclose how many corporate sponsorships the department averages in a year or their collective value, but he said the arrangement with Learfield has been off to a strong start.
Robinson said Haug was integral in cementing the deal with Long & Foster, which provides services to VCU through its real estate and relocation assistance program for current and prospective university employees. The program also works with Richmond-based brokerage Joyner Fine Properties.
“Brian Haug is a VCU grad, he’s been around the basketball program for the last 10 years, and he sees the power and the eyeballs that get into the arena and the attention that’s paid on it,” Robinson said.