CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa department of athletics and Casey’s General Stores honored veteran John ‘Jersey’ Jermier at the Panthers’ men’s basketball home opener on Monday night in the McLeod Center.

Hailing from nearby Charles City, John ‘Jersey’ Jermier joined the U.S. Navy in Aug. 1950. He spent two years on the battleship Indiana followed by two years on the U.S.S. Esses (aircraft carrier) that eventually docked in Korea. Upon leaving the Navy in August 1954, he was a two-sport athlete in baseball and football at Coe College. After numerous coaching stints across the Midwest Jersey found his way home in 1980 when he became UNI’s Associate Director of Athletics, retiring in 1997. His honors include being inducted into Coe College’s Hall of Fame in 1981, and into Wayne State’s in 1990. He was named Coach of the Year several times in football and baseball and was named an Honorary UNI Panther Letterman.

Casey’s General Store advertising department representative Mel Heintz joined Jersey on the floor for the announcement on Monday.

Earlier this season Casey’s bolstered its presence in the McLeod Center by stamping its name on the playing floor.

Casey’s unveiled on-court signage at UNI’s home to men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball will be visible during all Panthers’ games this upcoming 2013-’14 athletic season.  The company’s logo is strategically positioned in front of both the UNI and visiting team’s benches.  This branding initiative and collegiate tie marks a first of its kind for the Ankeny-based, leading independently owned convenience store chain in the Midwest and one of the largest in the country.

Since 2003-04, Casey’s has been a UNI Athletics’ corporate partner, managed entirely by Panther Sports Properties, a property of Learfield Sports and the multimedia rights holder of UNI Athletics.  In addition to the new courtside signage, Casey’s receives other partner benefits including radio exposure during football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball games; in-venue digital courtside signage, visibility in print programs, and recognition on UNI’s official athletic website, unipanthers.com.  Within the state, Casey’s also has corporate partnerships with the athletic departments of University of Iowa and Iowa State University, which are represented by Learfield Sports.

“Casey’s General Stores has long been a supporter of college sports and specifically the UNI Panthers, and we’re excited about taking that relationship to the next level by adding our logo to the floor of McLeod Center,” said Cory Hart, Casey’s General Stores’ brand manager. “There’s no question we’ve developed a loyal following from college sports fans and look forward to continue leveraging Casey’s brand, quality service and store offerings among UNI Panthers’ fans and alumni.”

“Panther athletics is proud to expand our partnership with Casey’s General Stores.  The Casey’s brand and its reputation for integrity and customer service are a proud Iowa tradition that our student-athletes and fans identify with, and strive to achieve on a daily basis,” said UNI Director of Athletics Troy Dannen.  “Casey’s investment in Panther athletics will continue to serve our student-athletes positively and enhance opportunities for growth within our department.”

Panther Sports Properties General Manager Brian Gabel commented, “Casey’s has been a tremendous UNI Athletics’ partner, and we’re pleased to see them want to make even a greater commitment to the school while leveraging its business objectives of steady growth and delivering quality service.”

Headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, Casey’s is the leading independently-owned convenience store chain in the Midwest and of one the largest in the country. Casey’s owns and operates more than 1,750 stores in 14 states. For more information, please visit caseys.com.

In addition to UNI, Iowa and Iowa State, Learfield Sports manages multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations and titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with co-founders NACDA and USA Today.  Its exclusive sports programming reaches more than 50 million television households nationally and delivers nearly 17,000 hours of radio programming on more than 1,100 radio stations.  To learn more about Learfield’s 40-year history and comprehensive collegiate portfolio, visit www.learfieldsports.com.