Magazine article American Banker

Editor's Note

Magazine article American Banker

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

Corporate sponsorships are a serious business. North American companies spend more than $9 billion annually to attach their brands to sports, entertainment, arts, and other events, and they want some marketing value in return.

Not content to simply write a check in exchange for a billboard, these sophisticated marketers seek out sponsorship opportunities that will help them achieve business goals and deliver measurable returns on their investments.

Though many financial services companies have been active in this area for a while, they are just now starting to look strategically at their opportunities. Industry executives say sponsorships offer a unique way to gain favorability with consumers -- a marketing goal that is particularly important in financial services.

As Dockery Clark, the director of sports and event marketing at Bank of America Corp., says: loyalty is necessary for profitability.

"We're probably one of the few industries out there that doesn't actually make money at purchase. When you open a checking account, we're not making money on that," Ms. Clark said. "So the purchase cycle is just totally different for us than maybe for a consumer product company. We have to make sure you want to stay with us, and you stay loyal to us, before we actually make money from having you as a customer."

On page 11, find out how Bank of America is changing its sponsorship strategy -- aiming to maximize the marketing value of its investment -- and what techniques it used to crank up the volume of its Olympic sponsorship. …

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