Gila River Hotels & Casinos announce partnership with ASU

September 7, 2018


Christopher Lomahquahu 

Gila River Indian News


Gila River Hotels & Casinos and Arizona State University announced a five-year partnership during a reception at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. on Aug. 22. 


Gila River Hotels & Casinos will sponsor ASU’s 26 Division I sports programs, which will provide scholarship opportunities for Community members and Gila River Hotels & Casinos' team members.


The partnership includes game promotions for each sport, fan giveaways, additional logo inclusion, PA announcements and other media advertising. 


Gila River Hotel & Casinos signage will be displayed at the renovated Sun Devil Stadium, as well as other ASU sports venues. 


The partnership will provide youth athletic and academic clinics to be held with tribal members. 


To kick off the reception, the voice behind ASU athletics, Tim Healey, long time Sun Devil radio announcer, ushered in the new partnership and what it means to the university.


Healey said, “We have a new stadium, we have a new coach, we have a new football team, why not have a brand new exciting new partnership.”


He said the combination of ASU and Gila River Hotels & Casinos combines two well-known names in entertainment and sports together to create a dynamic partnership. 


Vice President for ASU Athletics and Athletics Director Ray Anderson said the partnership benefits the local community and GRIC and is focused on promoting education and sports. 


Gila River Hotel & Casinos Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Manuel said Gila River Hotel & Casinos has a long history of relationships with local institutions.


“ASU is America's most innovative university and we are extremely proud to be partners with the distinguished institute,” said Manuel.  


Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis emphasized the tuition benefits for Community members and Gila River Hotels & Casinos team members. 


“This partnership benefits, both the Arizona State University family and the Gila River Indian Community as well,” said Gov. Lewis, “It’s historic and we should all recognize this for the partnership that demonstrates a tribal community and a world class institution like Arizona State University…it’s a first of its kind.”


Gov. Lewis said the agreement builds on “the tradition of so many Community members that have graduated from ASU.” Ten students from Student Services received degrees from ASU last school year."


“This partnership just shows with the Gila River Indian Community, “the tradition of so many Community members that have graduated from ASU,” 


After the reception Gov. Lewis and members from the Gila River Hotels & Casinos toured Sun Devil Stadium to see the new signage and renovations, such as the Legends Suite on the West side of the stadium, which is decorated with Gila River Hotels & Casinos branding.


 The dignitaries also toured the football facilities where the players train, and the remodeled Tillman Tunnel, in honor of the late Pat Tillman, where players enter the field before each game. 


 In a Gila River Hotels & Casinos press release, ASU Athletics Chief Business Development Officer Gabe Cagwin said, “This partnership is a unique in that Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Sun Devil Athletics are investing in each other, which will positively impact all of our programs.”