The University of Otago has become a major sponsor of southern Super Rugby team the Highlanders.
The university made the announcement at Dunedin's covered stadium on Monday.
The two-year sponsorship deal means the university's name will appear on the back of the Highlanders' jerseys, its logo will be painted onto the turf, and its advertisements will pay in match breaks.
Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne says the deal is a first for a New Zealand university and is about being more ambitious, although it has been done in some places overseas.
"We are the oldest and finest and most gracious university in this country, but sometimes we're a little bit shy and we stand back. And it's now time for the University of Otago to lead the charge, essentially, for this part of the south."
The university wouldn't disclose how much it has spent on the deal, but says it got great value for the money and it is coming out of the existing marketing budget.