UNM taking Dreamstyle Remodeling to arbitration over stalled sponsorship

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico and Dreamstyle Remodeling are headed to arbitration, claiming the company skipped out on its naming rights deal at The Pit and football stadium. UNM believes Dreamstyle still owes them a lot of money, but the company says otherwise.

“The best way to resolve this is to have a mediation,” said Dreamstyle founder Larry Chavez. After months of publicly butting heads, UNM and Dreamstyle Remodeling will try to work out their financial disagreements through arbitration. UNM said Dreamstyle has failed to make their financial obligations as a sponsor. “We’re in a disagreement on how much is due, we don’t believe anything is due,” said Chavez.

In 2017, they made a ten-year, $9 million deal to splash Dreamstyle’s name across the football stadium and The Pit. According to the complaint filed by UNM, Dreamstyle was to make annual payments of $800,000 each year. Chavez said the money was to fund the current football program and general athletics, but Chavez claims UNM was using the money for a different purpose.

“We had been made aware it had not been spent in this manner and instead used to pay prior deficits primarily,” said Chavez. But that’s not all, the naming rights agreement gets murky in 2019 after UNM and their media partner, Learfield, parted ways. Dreamstyle believes when the Learfield and UNM partnership ended, so did the naming rights agreement.

However, UNM disagrees that this is the case. “Dreamstyle feels like it’s like their agreement with UNM wasn’t with UNM, was with our third-party multimedia rights holder and unfortunately they have not paid over the past several years,” said UNM Athletics Director Eddie Nunez in September 2020.

Despite the dispute, UNM kept up the Dreamstyle signs until they finally removed the company’s logo three months ago. Chavez said he’s been waiting to hear from UNM and their new multimedia partner to make a new deal with them. “We still have a certain interest in supporting the university and we’d like to talk about that also,” said Chavez. UNM claims out of the $9 million deal, Dreamstyle only paid $1.5 million. UNM said Dreamstyle owes the school about $1.1 million for the two years before the deal was voided.

This is the second time the UNM Athletic Department has struck a sponsorship deal with a local company, only to see it fizzle out quickly.

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