Prudential Financial has signed on as the title sponsor for the Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic, a Sept. 2 football game that features Grambling State University and Hampton University, according to a Tuesday announcement.
The Newark-based financial services company will have branding on all official game-related digital platforms as well as marketing materials and merchandise, and the Prudential logo will be featured on the 50-yard line of the Red Bull Arena in Harrison.
On Sept. 2, the Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic will kick off at 3 p.m. and celebrate the culture and excellence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Classic is designed to increase awareness of HBCUs while also having a direct impact on the city of Newark through scholarship awards, partnerships and local economic development.
Sponsorship of the Classic is just one part of Prudential’s multipronged strategy to improve the financial health of HBCU students and families, strengthen the capacity and resiliency of HBCU institutions and position Prudential as an employer of choice for HBCU graduates. Prudential has a long history of support for HBCUs, including microgrants to HBCU students in an effort to accelerate economic mobility, paid internships and pro bono services to help improve financial literacy among HBCU students and their families.
“HBCUs are critical to Prudential’s vision to be a global leader in expanding access to investing, insurance and retirement security,” Shané Harris, vice president and head of social responsibility at Prudential, said. “Strong HBCUs have a direct positive influence on Black worker incomes, resulting in $1.2 billion in additional economic opportunity, and are a crucial component in building generational Black wealth.”
“We are excited and proud to have Prudential as the title sponsor for the Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic, as their mission to increase awareness and opportunities for HBCUs and their students aligns with ours. Prudential has demonstrated through their actions, including their investment to the city of Newark, that they are focused on economic inclusion and creating generational wealth opportunities for the Black community,” Brian Taylor of KBS Sports Strategies, said.
The Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic renews a popular rivalry between two teams that each boast College Football Hall of Fame coaches — Eddie Robinson of GSU and Joe Taylor of HU. Always highly competitive, Hampton University and Grambling State University have faced off on the gridiron seven times, with Hampton having won six of those matchups with an average attendance of 46,000. The Top 5 most highly attended HBCU Classics played in New Jersey all feature these two teams, with three of the games against each other drawing more than 58,000 fans.