Kentucky football held a clever marketing stunt that brought more than a few ‘Rogers’ to Kroger Field on Wednesday morning.
The new Kroger Field lettering was being installed on the west side of what used to be called Commonwealth Stadium, and before the last letter went up, Kentucky deputy athletics director DeWayne Peevy called on all ‘Rogers.’
The K was the last letter to be raised, briefly leaving the stadium named “Roger Field.” Peevy announced a giveaway for all Rogers, first or last name. The prize? Two free tickets to Kentucky’s home opener against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 9.
The “K” was raised two hours later, and Peevy announced that nine Rogers collected their free tickets: One Roger and eight people with the last name Rogers.
Calling all Rogers! Stop by Gate 7 at Kroger Field now before the K goes up and present your ID to get 2 free tickets to UK vs EKU on 9/9! pic.twitter.com/9dOTEKYWtc
— DeWayne Peevy (@UKDeWaynePeevy) August 2, 2017
The Kroger Field lettering is now complete on the north, south and west sides of the stadium.
It was announced on May 1 that Commonwealth Stadium would become Kroger Field. The naming rights agreement lasts up to 12 years and begins at $1.85 million annually. The agreement is between JMI Sports and Kroger in partnership with Kentucky.
Kentucky is the first SEC school to sell naming rights for its football stadium. The name change has been met with skepticism by some fans, but Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart justified the decision on the day of the announcement.
“I love our fans and want to make sure that we’re always listening, but at the end of the day, I’ve still got to put the enterprise of making sure that our young people have the best opportunity to compete in the SEC,” Barnhart said. “If I said to our fans, ‘What’s most important: How we get there in terms of the names and things like that, or do you want us to compete well and have really quality student-athletes?’ I think they would all say something, ‘Let’s go do the best for our student-athletes.’”
Kentucky’s first game at Kroger Field will be at noon ET on Sept. 9 against Eastern Kentucky. The Wildcats open the season at 4 p.m. ET Sept. 2 at Southern Miss.