Who is going to replace WisePies as the Pit’s naming rights sponsor?
It appears to be another local business and a company with a history of contributing to Lobo athletics.
Reports circulating late Tuesday say it is Dreamstyle Remodeling, an Albuquerque-based dealer and installer of name-brand home products, such as Renewal by Andersen windows.
Dreamstyle Remodeling CEO Larry Chavez would not confirm the reports to the Journal, nor would University of New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs.
But UNM is touting a “major and historic UNM athletics announcement” for a news conference scheduled for today. It has revealed few details about the event, including the location. But athletic department spokesman Frank Mercogliano did tell the Journal the event would involve naming rights.
And UNM said earlier that a new sponsorship would involve naming rights for more than one facility, not just the Pit.
Dreamstyle Remodeling was founded in 1989 and operates in five states. Chavez, born in Springer and raised in Albuquerque, is a University of New Mexico graduate. The Journal reported last year that he was leading a project to remodel the UNM football offices at no cost to the school.
NM Fishbowl, a website run by freelance journalist Daniel Libit, tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “Sources: Larry Chavez of Dreamstyle Remodeling to be new naming-rights benefactor of @UNMLOBOS sports facilities. UNM hasn’t confirmed.” Libit did not identify his sources. The Lobo Lair fan website subsequently tweeted similar news, also not citing sources.
UNM set the stage for the announcement last week, confirming that WisePies’ 10-year naming rights agreement for the Pit would end early due to a new deal with a different, unidentified donor. UNM said it asked WisePies to step aside to make way for a better offer that would encompass multiple facilities. The school did not identify the new donor or the amount.
Signed in 2014, WisePies’ deal called for 10 annual installments totaling $5 million, the last of which was not scheduled until Dec. 31, 2023. The arrangement will instead end after payments totaling $800,000.
WisePies and UNM say WisePies was current on all payments, meaning it was covered through the end of 2017. Krebs said WisePies has not asked for a refund for making the change ahead of time.
Libit has raised questions about the WisePies deal, even filing a lawsuit against the UNM Foundation, the school’s fundraising arm, which has denied his requests for certain documents related to the agreement. Libit alleges the foundation is violating the state’s public records law, though the foundation argues it is not a public entity.