The new pavilion overlooking Ram Stadium is designed to allow businesses to host their clients on game days and Shepherd University officials predict it will pay for itself in three years.
Shepherd University has partnered up with Smallwood and Small Insurance in a detailed campus-wide partnership program. This is a form of partnership that the school has not engaged in before. The partnership program consists of naming rights for the pavilion, which is, Shepherd University And Smallwood and Small Pavilion. Highly considerable benefits in the Shepherd Athletic Department’s new Ram Partner Program and signs in a good number of campus facilities are also a part of the partnership program.
Since construction of the $230,000 pavilion, available spaces have gone on sale for tailgating, “with the second home game being sold out,” said Chauncey Winbush, vice president for athletics.
Winbush, vice president for athletics, said the purpose of the pavilion is to add a new experience for corporate partners of the school and to support Shepherd to a greater extent. The ability to bring in clients for these corporations is also another feature of the pavilion, especially given the football team’s level of success and importance in the community. Enhancing the overall gameday experience was another goal of the pavilion.
Other sponsors of the pavilion include Five Guys, Yount Hyde & Barbour Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, Lowe Real Estate Group, Lowe Hospitality Group, Smallwood & Small Insurance, United Bank, Jefferson Security Bank, Ours Lawyer Lewis & Company PLLC, Center for Orthopedic Excellence, KRM Associates, Lowe Family, Booby Chuey, and Bill Baker & Darren Idean.
The interest level, according to Winbush, has been positive ever since the pavilion’s construction. “It is doing so well in fact that there is already a waiting list in place in case a sponsor for would want out and another wants in,” Winbush said.
Planning for the structure began a year ago.
Winbush said the pavilion gives corporate sponsors and fans a chance to watch athletic contests at Shepherd. He emphasized the fact that this is a full-game tailgate experience and different than tailgating from one’s own car. This allows sponsors to watch games with their clients right up close to the game action, continuing to build on their relationship. By cultivating these new clients in a game-day atmosphere, it gives corporations a chance to say, “Thank you,” to their current clients, continuing to build and improve their status with their current clients and attract new ones with word spreading of their appreciation and commitment.
Winbush suggested the pavilion could be used for any of a number of other purposes besides at football games, such as lacrosse games, community events, birthday parties, Rotary Club meetings, or other activities that benefit the community and Shepherd University.
Anthony Bracken is a Sports Reporter for The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org