Smithfield Becomes Presenting Sponsor for the Commonwealth Clash
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The athletics rivalry between Virginia and Virginia Tech will have a new name this year thanks to Smithfield. The athletics departments at Virginia and Virginia Tech announced today (Aug. 26) that the sporting contests between the in-state rivals will be known as the “Smithfield Commonwealth Clash.”
For Smithfield, a long-time supporter of sports and higher education, the opportunity to become more engrained at both institutions in their home base of Virginia was a natural fit.
“Smithfield is a proud partner and supporter of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech athletics,” said Laura Pall, senior brand manager for Smithfield at Smithfield Foods. “Both universities bring Virginians together to celebrate excellence, on and off the field, and we’re honored to play a part in these esteemed Commonwealth Clash competitions that represent our home state.”
An international giant in the food industry, Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a homegrown Virginia brand long associated with the Commonwealth and its support of local communities. The company originated in Smithfield, Va. in 1936.
“It is a wonderful gesture for a well-recognized Virginia brand such as Smithfield to be part of the great Commonwealth Clash rivalry,” said UVA director of athletics Carla Williams. “Their company extends across international borders but their history and business roots are right here in Virginia. We are proud to call them a partner. We look forward to working with Smithfield to grow and enhance the Commonwealth Clash.”
The Commonwealth Clash, originally called the Commonwealth Challenge (2005 to 2007), has been a part of the UVA-Virginia Tech rivalry since 2014. It was an all-sports points-based program with the Commonwealth Clash trophy presented to the winning school each year for its dominance in head-to-head competitions. Virginia won the two Commonwealth Challenge competitions and three of the five Commonwealth Clash campaigns. The 2019-20 Clash was left undecided due to the cancellation of spring sports because of the pandemic.
The Smithfield Commonwealth Clash gets underway on Sept. 17 when the Cavaliers and Hokies meet in men’s soccer in Blacksburg. The match is the first head-to-head competition between the schools during the 2021-22 athletic seasons.