Panthers fans pouring into the stadium for the team’s first home game of the season Friday night got to see one of the stadium’s newest additions — the roughly 1,500-square-foot Lowe’s sign above the East Gate.
The giant sign, spanning 26 feet by 58 feet, is just part of the home improvement company’s expanded sponsorship deal with the team — and the NFL.
The company also announced a new football merchandise line and plans for street festivals before Panthers home games.
The NFL announced in January that Lowe’s would be the official home improvement retail sponsor of the league. Terms and details of the deal were not released.
Lowe’s Home Improvement has sponsored the Carolina Panthers in the past, but Bill Boltz, Lowe’s executive vice president of merchandising, said that agreement had ended and was renegotiated.
Lowe’s will carry NFL-branded merchandise on its website and in some stores, and Panthers-specific items — including grills, dog jerseys, tailgating chairs and home decor.
“It gives the store a chance to rally around the local team,” Boltz said.
The store carried some football merchandise before, but this line will be the first licensed NFL-branded merchandise, Boltz said. The company will carry more than 10,000 new merchandise items.
Fans also will see new activities and street festivals before home games through the extended multi-year partnership with the Panthers, Boltz said. Lowe’s is also partnering with the Dallas Cowboys.
The home improvement chain will feature Panthers items on an “NFL Homegating Makeover” episode on its YouTube channel — a football-themed home makeover series with DIYer Monica Mangin.
The company didn’t release further details on the partnership.
“We are excited to enter into this expanded partnership with Lowe’s which will bring more benefits to Panthers’ fans across the region,” Carolina Panthers President Tom Glick said.
This article originally appeared in The Charlotte Observer.