The Lambeau Field College Classic presented by Carmex will be played Sept. 3, Labor Day weekend. It will be the third meeting of Wisconsin and LSU. The Tigers won the first two games, including, most recently, a come-from-behind 28-24 victory in 2014 in Houston.
"We are expanding our relationship with the Packers, and we see this as a great opportunity for us," said Frank Simone, Carma Laboratories vice president of domestic sales.
This is Carmex's first major sports sponsorship, though the company has worked with the Packers on lower-level partnerships in the past. Carmex is in the town of Franklin, southwest of Milwaukee. Carma Laboratories Inc. was founded in 1937 by Alfred Woelbing. The company is in its third generation of family ownership. All of its product is manufactured in Franklin, Simone said.
"We were amazed at how many people didn't realize we are a Wisconsin company," he said.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has shown foresight with the changing landscape of college football, recognizing the strength of schedule aspect. The LSU game is a result of that.
"The game should be a lot of fun, not only for visitors but for residents," Murphy said. "Carmex is a company with very strong roots in our community."
The sponsorship tie-in is with the Lambeau Field brand, rather than the Packers.
It will be the first major college game at Lambeau Field and the 11th scheduled football game there in 2016, including 10 Packers games. A Packers regular-season game is estimated to have a more than $14 million economic impact on Brown County. The Wisconsin game may have a larger impact because more attendees will be from outside the county than during a Packers game and some, notably the LSU contingent, will stay in town longer. Some LSU fans have booked rooms as early as Wednesday, according to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Wisconsin has 40,000 tickets for the game, LSU 20,000 and the Packers 20,000. There will be no public sale of the tickets through primary sources, but they already are available on the secondary market. On Thursday, tickets were beginning at about $350 each.
St. Norbert College has played at Lambeau three times, hosting Fordham University twice and Mankato State College once, but not since 1983.
Carmex will conduct a promotional contest which will result in three winners participating in a punt, pass and kick competition at halftime of the game. They'll get $1,000, airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the game. The ones who successfully complete the punt, pass and kick competition will share $1,000. Information will be available at mycarmex.com.
Simone said Carmex is adopting a new logo and changing some packaging, though it will retain its iconic red and yellow colors. He said the partnership with the Packers and the game will help them introduce those changes to a wide audience.
There is talk, mostly in Louisiana, that the game could be imperiled by an ongoing budget crisis in Louisiana. The university president said that if budget issues force the canceling of summer school, many LSU football players could become ineligible. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is seeking a range of budget cuts and tax increases to close a $900 million deficit this year and $2 billion next year.
Murphy said they are confident the game will be played.
It is scheduled to be broadcast by ESPN, though a time has not been announced.