OceanFirst Bank in Toms River, N.J., now has extra reason to cheer for the Monmouth University men's basketball team that was in the running for an NCAA tournament berth last season.

The $4.2 billion-asset OceanBank has struck a $4 million, 20-year deal with the university to have the school's 4,100-seat arena renamed OceanFirst Bank Center. The agreement also allows OceanFirst Bank to display its brand in prominent locations inside and outside the multipurpose venue, which opened on the university's campus in West Long Branch, N.J., in 2009.

The naming rights deal expands the bank's relationship with Monmouth. The OceanFirst Foundation has awarded more than $616,000 in grants to the university and provided 140 student scholarships over the past seven years.

The bank, which has 50 branches throughout central and southern New Jersey, said the arena deal will increase its funding of the foundation.

"OceanFirst is committed to supporting higher education in our community and has directly benefited from a substantial number of Monmouth University alumni that serve as employees and officers at every level throughout the bank," OceanFirst Bank President and CEO Christopher Maher said in a joint press release from the bank and Monmouth.

The Monmouth men's basketball team, the Hawks, went 28-8 last season and ended up competing in the National Invitation Tournament.

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