MBNA Signs Affinity Deal with Pro Football League in Canada Push
Keenan, Charles, American Banker
MBNA Corp. has scored a touchdown in its drive into Canada.
The company, which has a close affinity relationship with the National Football League in the United States, recently announced a similar arrangement with the Canadian Football League.
Jeffrey Giles, president of the CFL, said the card bank was a logical choice because of its NFL and National Hockey League endorsements. "They provide us with the best opportunity to get as many cards as we can possibly get-and make as much money as we can," Mr. Giles said.
After the league was approached by MBNA, it shopped around with Canadian issuers, Mr. Giles said, but Wilmington, Del.-based MBNA offered the best terms and marketing approaches.
"The Canadian banks have not been overly aggressive with affinity programs," said Stanley Anderson, president of Anderson and Associates, Arvada, Colo. "That spells opportunity for MBNA."
MBNA is among a growing number of U.S. card issuers hoping to make a name north of the border, where credit cards are less ubiquitous. This week Banc One Corp.'s First USA subsidiary announced it would begin issuing cards in Canada this fall.
Since MBNA opened its Canadian operation in Ottawa late last year, it has signed up more than 50 affinity groups, including the Canadian Nurses Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the NHL's Ottawa Senators. …