Visibility and branding

Visibility and branding

With five campuses, over 60,000 students, and nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees/majors, the University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive universities in the nation. Through their support for initiatives and projects across the University of Minnesota five-campus system, companies have conducted successful outreach through this broad and expansive network: bolstering their brand, garnering visibility for industry goals and projects, and leading collaborative innovation across disciplines.

As you’ll see in the stories below, when University resources and expertise are aligned with industry priorities, the results can be field-defining and mutually beneficial: leading to positive impact in communities near and far.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota: Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity

In 2021, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) donated $5 million to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (SPH) to establish the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity: a transformational gift envisioning a more just and equitable future for all. This gift—the largest gift to a center at SPH—was provided by Blue Cross as a part of a long-term commitment to tackle the leading causes of preventable disease, increase racial and health equity, transform communities, and create a healthier state.

Rachel Hardeman, associate professor and Blue Cross Endowed Professor of Health and Racial Equity, created the vision for the center and will serve as its founding director. With support from Blue Cross and through Hardeman’s leadership and expertise, the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity will develop education and training on structural racism and health inequities; foster authentic community engagement to address the root causes of racial health inequities and drive action; change the narrative about race and racism to one that does not hold up whiteness as the ideal standard for human beings; and serve as a trusted resource on issues related to racism and health equity.

Blue Cross’ commitment to bring about change serves as an invitation for others to provide sustainable funding for the center and its goal of understanding and dismantling structural racism and its negative impact on health.

Huntington Bank: Huntington Bank Stadium

For more than 25 years, Gopher Football had been played at a pro football stadium off-campus after its original venue became outdated and was later demolished. Huntington Bank was instrumental in bringing Gopher Football back to campus. Through a naming agreement commitment of $35 million in 2005, Huntington Bank’s support built momentum for a successful campaign to construct a new stadium. In 2009, Huntington Bank Stadium officially opened its doors and a campus landmark was born.

Huntington Bank is also a generous supporter of Athletes Village and Gopher Athletics sponsorship opportunities. Through Huntington Bank’s strategic investments, its brand is front and center for students, fans, and the community at large. Huntington Bank's support for Gopher Athletics plays a pivotal role in building a renowned athletic program, showcases Huntington Bank as a corporate citizen, and inspires other potential donors and sponsors to support Gopher student-athletes.

"Huntington Bank and the University of Minnesota—it’s a natural fit between two elite institutions. Huntington Bank is a big reason why the University was able to move football back to campus and play outdoors. However, Huntington Bank Stadium is more than bricks and mortar. It creates a community gathering space and provides generations with lifelong memories. It also elevates the Huntington Bank brand and showcases the strength of our broad and long-standing partnership. Huntington Bank executives and employees are loyal fans and champions at the highest level. We are grateful for their support and look forward to our continuing relationship."

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Contact us if you are a corporate or foundation representative and would like more information about matching your priorities and interests with opportunities and resources at the University.

Elizabeth Wegele

Elizabeth Wegele