BERKELEY -- Cal will announce a 15-year naming rights deal for the field at Memorial Stadium in a Thursday news conference, according to the firm that brokered the deal.

The school announced late Wednesday there would be a news conference "to announce a long-term field naming rights partnership."

A Bay Area-based corporate sponsor with ties to Cal is on board, said Jesse Ryback, director of business development for Premier Partnerships.

Ryback would not divulge the name of the company or financial terms of the deal, but according to a New York Times blog, it is the video game maker Kabam. The field would be known as Kabam Field for the next 15 years, at a cost to the company of $18 million, the report said.

"It will be the most significant naming rights for a field to date for a college venue," Ryback said, stressing that the field sponsorship won't alter the traditional Memorial Stadium name. "We'd be shocked if it wasn't replicated by a number of universities across the country to unlock revenue."

Naming rights for the field only is rare in college football. In most cases, corporations purchase naming rights to the entire stadium.

One exception is InfoCision Stadium at the University of Akron, which opened in 2009. Summa Health System spent $5 million for field naming rights for 20 years, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The paper said naming rights for the stadium went to InfoCision Management Corporation when company founder Gary Taylor made a personal $10 million donation, also for a duration of 20 years.


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Ryback said Cal hired Premier Partnerships early last spring, and his firm, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, identified high-level prospective partners.

"It's a great fit all-around. We're really excited about it," Ryback said.

The news could be significant to Cal, which faces a $474 million, long-term debt to pay off renovations and earthquake retrofit work on Memorial Stadium along with the year-old Simpson Center high-performance training center.