Archive for Monday, February 27, 2017

Alvamar Country Club changes name to Jayhawk Club; deal struck with KU

In this file photo from May 9, 2016, golfers gather at the ninth hole on the public side of Alvamar Golf Course.

In this file photo from May 9, 2016, golfers gather at the ninth hole on the public side of Alvamar Golf Course.

February 27, 2017


In a unique licensing and branding allowance by the University of Kansas, Lawrence’s Alvamar Country Club is now called the Jayhawk Club, with a Jayhawk-emblazoned logo to match.

KU on Monday announced the licensing agreement between the university and club ownership, an LLC headed by Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel and his family, who also developed Rock Chalk Park.

Alvamar, now the Jayhawk Club, has been and remains the home course of the KU men’s and women’s golf programs.

KU licenses lots of apparel and products but it’s rare, possibly unprecedented, for the university to license use of the Jayhawk name and mascot to a privately owned business.

University officials said the agreement is unique and that it reflects a unique opportunity for KU.

Logo for the Jayhawk Club

Logo for the Jayhawk Club

“Alvamar Country Club has been a great home for the University of Kansas men’s and women’s golf programs, and there has been a terrific partnership between the club and the university during that time,” Tim Caboni, KU vice chancellor for public affairs, said in a statement. “This new license agreement is an extension of that partnership that will benefit The Jayhawk Club, the university, our student-athletes and the entire region. We are excited to have our university’s name and our world-famous Jayhawk affiliated with the facility.”

The golf facility has a new logo and branding that features the club name with an image of the Jayhawk. According to KU, the new club will also feature officially licensed merchandise reflecting the name change.

KU’s 20-year agreement with Eagle 1968 LLC allows the club to use KU’s registered marks and names for an annual fee of $120,000 for the first 10 years, according to KU. For the final 10 years of the agreement, that annual amount is adjusted for inflation. Fritzel is a local businessman who led a partnership with KU at the Rock Chalk Park sports complex in northwest Lawrence. He also is an owner of The Oread, a Lawrence hotel that is at the center of a tax dispute between Fritzel and Lawrence City Hall.

Half of the licensing revenue from the Jayhawk Club will go to KU and the other half will go to Kansas Athletics Inc., according to KU spokesman Joe Monaco. He said KU’s portion will be used for student scholarships and academic programming, and KU Athletics' portion will be used for student-athlete scholarships.

In a statement shared by KU, Fritzel said the club’s partnership with the university would bring new energy to an historic community landmark and its founder.

“Bob Billings was such a positive and energetic force,” Fritzel said. “There is much to learn from his approach — in business and in life. Every day is a gift, and we should live it fully. It is an honor and a privilege to continue what he started.”

Fritzel’s company took over ownership of the club more than a year ago. Work continues on a major redevelopment effort that includes private residences as well as renovations to the clubhouse and golf course.

The club previously had an 18-hole public course and an 18-hole private course, but it’s no longer open to the public.

In this file photo from May 9, 2016, golfers gather at the ninth hole on the public side of Alvamar Golf Course.

In this file photo from May 9, 2016, golfers gather at the ninth hole on the public side of Alvamar Golf Course.

Wes Lynch, general manager of Jayhawk Club, said the club went all private as of December 2016.

The public clubhouse has been torn down, and major renovations to the private clubhouse are ongoing, Lynch said. He said the clubhouse is expected to be complete in April or May. A new swimming pool also is under construction and anticipated to open this summer, he said.

As for the golf course, it’s going from 36 holes to 27, Lynch said. Portions of the course are open now, he said. The whole course should reopen in late spring or early summer after resodding and reseeding.

As for the private residences, Lynch said the first phase is hoped to be completed and available by late summer. The building will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom residences. The club also has broken ground on a wellness and fitness center.

Lynch said the club plans to break ground soon on a new building for the KU golf teams, which is hoped to open in time to use next golf season.

Lynch said representing “Jayhawk nation” should be a boon to business for the club and development.

“It kind of gives us a step up,” Lynch said. “I think people will be excited that they’re a part of that.”

Contact KU and higher ed reporter Sara Shepherd
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Bob Summers 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Name it the Jayhawk Club? Seriously? The Jayhawk Club?

Government golf.

Will it be a union shop?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months, 3 weeks ago

What? The Jayhawk is government? What is wrong with you?

Richard Quinlan 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Im sure we can trust Fritzel to properly account for all royalties....

Theodore Calvin 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Trick "beloved" city into RCP, where nothing that was floated actually was what came to fruition. Trick "beloved" city into TIF for Oread, falsely book sales to inflate tax reimbursements. Consequences? An unheard of lucrative licensing deal with local major university that helped and/or was complicit in backing the city into the RCP deal.

Louis Kannen 10 months, 3 weeks ago

" In late-breaking news today from Fritzelville, it has been announced that the EagleBend Golf Course has been renamed the BabyJay BeaglesFriend Thomas Fritzel Way Off-Limits Putt-Putt/Driving(Thru )Range/Vehicle Sudser Center, the latter subject to adequate spill-way flow. No longer carry spare pocket-change, not to worry as the Developer indicates the Valet Vehicle Scrubbers Scrum Team has been instructed to only accept $20's or larger. " Community leaders are thrilled, as this announcement once again proves that Progress is in deed, the City's most important Product... ( Pictures at 10 )

Andy Craig 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll continue to use the Alvamar name. As a tribute to Bob Billings parents.

Jenny Hutchinson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Why don't we change the name of the town to KU while we're at it.

Jake Davis 10 months, 3 weeks ago

A slap in the face to Bob Billings family and our city. Alvamar CC has been symnolic in our city and Kansas in general for many years Why the need for a name change? On the bright side, the Billings family will not be associated with the Fritzel name at all.

Jenny Hutchinson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Alvamar is such a better name for it than KU. It had a classy name and the story behind the name was great. Once again here is the typical Lawrence wannabe elite slapping KU on stuff for financial gain. Also shame on KU. But this is a university that also covers up rape. So no surprise there.

David Holroyd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Grasping at straws as the saying goes.

Revisionist history at work.

Richard Crank 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Speaking only for myself, I'm very disappointed in my alma mater for doing this ... however wonderful that money might seem. KU seems so capable of being better than that.

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