Jewelry success story Alex and Ani has purchased naming rights to the basketball court at the University of Rhode Island's Ryan Center for an undisclosed sum. The men's and women's basketball teams will take the court this season with the Alex & Ani logo prominently displayed at both ends of the floor.
URI is not the only state university upgrading facilities thanks to the company's largesse. The Alex and Ani name will also grace a new arts center scheduled to open this year at Rhode Island College.
The University of Rhode Island kicks off football season Thursday night with an away-game against Fordham University. The game marks the start of the 115th season for the Rhode Island Rams, founded in 1895.
But the team has not been faring well recently. The Rams have not won a game since 2011 and start this season hoping to snap a 13-game losing streak.
Critics question whether the state’s flagship university should spend the money on a football program at all. URI President David Dooley has said he supports believes it is important to keep the program alive.