CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — The University of Illinois is adding a quarter of a million dollars to its budget, thanks to a savvy business deal.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports, the university has agreed to let Texas-based energy company use the Fighting Illini name.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports

The Branded Retail Energy Company of Dallas will sell power in Illinois under the name Fighting Illini Energy. The company already has similar deals with the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Southern Methodist University.

But to get the rights to the name, the company must pay to use it. The cost will be at least $250,000 a year, the U of I says.

U of I assistant athletic director for corporate sponsorships Marty Kaufmann said the proceeds from the deal will go into the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ operating budget.

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