‘Official ride’ Uber announces SBU campus partnership

Win-win: However the Seawolves play, Stony Brook University sports fans now have a safer way to get around campus before and after home games.

In its splashiest PR move since it rolled onto Long Island, Uber has been named the “official ride of the Stony Brook Seawolves.”

Yes, Stony Brook University is still providing transportation for its men’s and women’s athletics teams. In this case, the official ride is meant for Seawolves fans, according to a three-year, campus-wide partnership announced Wednesday by San Francisco-based Uber Technologies.

Uber and SBU will “work together to provide fans, supporters, students and faculty with a convenient transportation experience before and after every game, and riders and drivers an improved Uber experience on campus,” the company said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Uber will establish designated pickup and drop-off zones – marked by “clear signage” – around LaValle Stadium, Island Federal Credit Union Arena and other SBU campus landmarks.

These “Uber zones” will be integrated directly into the Uber app, giving riders and drivers precise directions on where to meet up. The university will also designate “Uber-dedicated tailgating lots, encouraging faculty and students to leave their cars at home,” according to the ride-sharing company.

Stony Brook University Athletics Director Shawn Heilbron trumpeted an “exciting partnership” with a range of campus-wide benefits.

“This will provide our fans with a safe and efficient way to travel to and from our home events,” Heilbron said Wednesday. “[And] the discounts will be extremely valuable to all Stony Brook students, faculty and staff.”

As part of its introduction to the Stony Brook campus, Uber is offering a promotional code for new passengers to get their first ride free, up to $15.

Uber – which began lawfully operating on Long Island last June, when new legislation legalized ridesharing services across New York State – is also planning to promote its new SBU partnership by sponsoring in-game fan contests and supporting “student-focused campaigns,” the company said.

“Teaming up with Stony Brook will allow us to provide an improved and convenient Uber experience for those traveling to and from games and around campus,” noted Sarfraz Maredia, Uber’s Northeast regional general manager. “Together, we will make sure students, fans, alumni and faculty have access to affordable, reliable rides.”