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Cal Signs 15-Year Deal With Video Game Company Kabam For Field Naming Rights
Published December 5, 2013
SCHOOL TIES: A large number of Kabam employees are Cal graduates, including three of its four co-Founders -- CEO Kevin Chou, GM Michael Li and Chief of Staff Holly Liu -- as well as COO Chris Carvalho. Those deep ties to the university helped close the deal, said Premier Partnerships Managing Dir and Cal alum Jeff Marks, who was the lead negotiator for the school. As a result, Kabam and Cal reached a deal four months after the two began talks at the start of football season, Marks said. Beginning next season, in-stadium activation will include Kabam logos placed on the 25-yard lines at Memorial Stadium, an interactive gaming area in the stadium, and digital messaging on a new LED video board at field level on the 50-yard line. As part of the deal, Kabam has committed to funding a scholarship and hiring Cal students as interns and having more of its execs speak on campus, Carvalho said. The official field logos will be unveiled during Cal’s spring game in March. Fulp said the school initially contacted more than 350 companies and had significant conversations with 50 firms before giving presentations to 10 finalists. Premier Dir of Business Development Jesse Ryback and VP/Marketing Services Stephanie Cheng also worked on the agreement. Seth Jacobs with CAA Sports consulted with Kabam on the agreement.