ZACH RUBIO | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
WSU Board of Regents approved a transaction with Gesa Credit Union for the naming rights of the playing surface inside of Martin Stadium at a meeting on Friday.
The proposal was arranged by WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun and will run for ten years, earning athletics upwards of $11 million. That amount can grow based on different milestones for the Cougars.
The new name for the facility will now be Gesa Field at Martin Stadium.
The deal also includes two Gesa locations inside the Compton Union Building and The Spark: Academic Innovation Hub that will both be operated by WSU students.
Gesa will also offer WSU-branded credit and debit cards to its members. When a member uses the card, a donation will be made to the Cougar Athletic Fund.
“This is an exciting day for our team members and nearly 260,000 members throughout Washington state,” said Don Miller, president and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “WSU’s mission to advance, extend and apply knowledge aligns with our mission and long tradition of supporting educational causes. Partnering with WSU Athletics provides Gesa with elevated name recognition to expand our reach and strengthen membership, and supports education, students, and alumni by positively impacting our communities through financial education and awareness, all while continuing to return value to our members.”
Gesa Credit Union is “the largest financial cooperative in Southeastern Washington,” according to the company website. Additionally, it is the second-largest credit union, Chun said.
“This partnership unites two organizations with a shared vision of educating and impacting communities throughout the state of Washington and Pacific Northwest,” Chun said. “In addition, this partnership will impact our goal of providing a first-class experience for our student-athletes. We welcome Gesa Credit Union as the newest members of the WSU Family and look forward to great victories, memories and moments for WSU Football taking place on Gesa Field.”
Gesa is headquartered in Richland, Washington, so the support is coming locally from within the state.
Chun said the deal will not affect the ongoing partnership between WSU and BECU.
The stadium was built in 1972 and was originally named after former Washington Gov. Clarence D. Martin following a $250,000 donation from his son.
Currently, the only other Pac-12 football team with part of their stadium named after them is the Washington Huskies with Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.