Financial Institution to Serve as Lead Sponsor for Jr. Champions’ Kids Club

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota Athletics and Learfield’s UND Sports Properties today welcomed First International Bank & Trust as a brand-new corporate partner. A centerpiece for the institution’s multi-year involvement with the Fighting Hawks will be serving as presenting sponsor for Jr. Champions, the official kids club of North Dakota Athletics.

Jr. Champions provides the Fighting Hawks’ youngest fans, boys and girls ages two through the eighth grade, an exclusive look into UND athletic programs. Membership into the program is complimentary, with registration required by a parent. It is good for an entire year, and registration begins on August 1 of each year.

“First International Bank & Trust is proud to be a presenting sponsor of Jr. Champions,” said Stephen L. Stenehjem, CEO & Chairman. “As an alumni of UND, I am proud to be deepening our roots in the Grand Forks community with our new location and also connecting area youth and families to university athletics. We are pleased to continue offering membership at no cost through our sponsorship so that more families can get involved.“

As a Jr. Champion of UND Athletics, kids will receive the following privileges throughout the current membership year:

• Free admission to all regular-season home games for volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball
• Opportunities to interact with UND coaches and student-athletes at exclusive Jr. Champions events
• Official Jr. Champions T-shirt, lanyard, and membership card
• Exclusive discounts on select football and men’s hockey tickets
• A birthday card good for a free large 1-topping pizza at Deek’s Pizza
• Official e-newsletter
• Opportunities to be the Jr. Champions Captain of the Game, which grants even further exclusive access

”We are excited to have First International Bank & Trust join the UND Athletics team as the presenting sponsor for the Jr. Champions kids club,” said Director of Athletics for UND, Brian Faison. “First International Bank & Trust is a great North Dakota company with strong ties to UND. We’re looking forward to strengthening that connection through this partnership.”

For additional information and details on the Jr.Champions program, visit

First International Bank & Trust is owned by Watford City Bancshares, Inc., which is owned by the Stenehjem family. First International Bank & Trust is a full service, independent community bank, a member of FDIC and an equal housing lender. First International Bank & Trust has been in business since 1910 and today operates 27 locations in North Dakota, Minnesota and Arizona. More information about the company can be found at
The University of North Dakota won Big Sky Conference championships in football, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball during the 2016-2017 season. It was the first time in the history of the Big Sky Conference that combination of championships was won by the same institution. Also, in 2016-17, the men’s hockey program appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th consecutive season, the second-longest streak in college hockey history.

The University of North Dakota is one of nearly 125 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas represented by Learfield. The company’s rich history includes over four decades of developing trusted, long-term relationships with some of the most revered institutions and associations in the world of college sports. Additionally, it titles the Learfield Directors’ Cup and offers its partners professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus-wide business and sponsorship development.