HONOLULU — Bank of Hawai‘i announces an unprecedented sponsorship, scholarship and stewardship with the University of Hawai‘i athletics department, which continues to face unique financial challenges due to the pandemic.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has greatly affected UH sports, its student-athletes and the vast array of supportive fans in the community. While addressing the ongoing health and safety of students and staff, the UH athletics department is also managing the disruption and financial stress of the pandemic. The department has already significantly reduced expenses by cutting back on staff, programs and services. Athletics is a critical component to the viability of Hawai‘i’s only state university, and any loss to the institution and its sports program is a loss to Hawai‘i.
Bank of Hawai‘i has been a supporter of UH athletics for decades. In an effort to help preserve UH athletics and honor its storied history, Bank of Hawai‘i announced the following investment:
• $5 million sponsorship to UH athletics. Bank of Hawai‘i will support UH athletics with a $5 million sponsorship over the next 10 years, ending in 2030, to help with services and budget challenges. The athletics department will determine how funds will be used. Some examples may include: sports equipment, academic resources, trainers, medical staff, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and rapid testing. Additionally, under the agreement, the University of Hawai‘i has extended rights to Bank of Hawai‘i to rename the arena to “SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center,” thereby retaining the legacy of former UH Athletic Director Bruce “Stan” Sheriff and reinforcing Bank of Hawai‘i as an advocate of UH sports and steward of the arena;
• Bank of Hawai‘i Stan Sheriff Endowment Scholarship Fund. Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation has established a $100,000 endowment scholarship fund in the name of Stan Sheriff. Beginning with school year 2021-22, the scholarship is intended to help provide scholarship support to student-athletes and underscore the spirit and commitment to UH athletics exhibited by Stan Sheriff during his tenure.
“Bank of Hawai‘i has been a loyal and long-time partner of University of Hawai‘i athletics, and we are extremely grateful to Peter Ho and his team for this impact-full gift. The gift, including an endowment under the late, great Stan Sheriff, helps assure the future success of our Rainbow Warrior and Rainbow Wahine student-athletes,” said David Matlin, UH athletics director. “The Stan Sheriff Center is one of the jewels on the Manoa campus. Stan Sheriff was a visionary and the facility is a testament to his drive, dedication and love for UH Athletics. I know he is looking down and enjoying the cherished memories that have been made over the years and we look forward to countless more at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.”
“The University of Hawai‘i has been greatly impacted by the pandemic. UH sports, in particular, not only brings us together as a community, but is a lifeline for so many student-athletes, who rely on unique opportunities to learn, compete and succeed on the field as well as in the classroom,” said Peter Ho, chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Hawai‘i. “Supporting UH in this way solidifies our financial support of UH athletics and its student-athletes during this crisis and beyond while paying homage to a beloved local sports icon by keeping Stan Sheriff’s legendary legacy alive.”
The Stan Sheriff family also states, “Stan Sheriff would be honored to share the facility name with such a great pillar of Hawai‘i business in Bank of Hawai‘i. His goal has always been to educate and develop the young men and women who compete and represent the University and the state of Hawai‘i. The financial commitment by Bank of Hawai‘i will be extremely beneficial to further that mission. The entire Sheriff family is extremely excited that Bank of Hawai‘i has chosen to collaborate the SimpliFi brand with the Stan Sheriff Center. With this support and partnership, the University of Hawai‘i and the athletics department with be able to continue Stan’s vision for many years to come.”
Bank of Hawai‘i chose the name “SimpliFi” for its digital-banking experience, which offers customers an easy, secure and, most importantly, convenient way to do their banking across all devices and online and mobile platforms. It first launched in late 2018 with SimpliFi Mortgage, and now includes everything from loans to account openings under the “SimpliFi” experience.
For the community, Bank of Hawai‘i has provided $5.1 million so far this year in response to the pandemic. This includes an unprecedented $3 million donation to Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Hawai‘i Resilience Fund, divided equally, to address: (1) health and safety needs, (2) food-security and nutrition for individuals and families, and (3) economic revitalization and recovery. Bank of Hawai‘i also donated personal protective equipment to health-care organizations across the state, and $100,000 to the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i.