Bank of America Launches 2006 Season as the Official Bank of Baseball™ by Giving Fans the Chance to Earn a "Signing Bonus"
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April 5, 2006, CHARLOTTE, NC — Fans of America’s national pastime and their friends will get the opportunity to earn a “signing bonus” this month when Bank of America launches its third season as the Official Bank of Baseball ™ . Through the Bank of America Refer-a-Fan ™ program, baseball fans who refer a friend or family member to open a new Bank of America checking account at any banking center in the U.S. can get $25 for themselves, and their friends can get a bonus, too.
The Refer-a-Fan program runs throughout the month of April, and coincides with the start of the 2006 Major League Baseball season. Bank of America is celebrating the fan promotion with special banking center appearances by former Major League players and in-stadium marketing activities in conjunction with the bank’s sponsorship of the Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.
“We are proud of our association with Major League Baseball and the 10 Clubs with whom we have sponsorship relationships,” said Rick Parsons, Brand Marketing Executive, Bank of America. “Our customers have a real affinity for baseball, so providing them with this special offer is just one way we’re developing benefits that deliver added value and match their personal interests. ”
As the Official Bank of Baseball, Bank of America has national sponsorship agreements with the four leading organizations that represent America’s national pastime—Major League Baseball Ò , Minor League Baseball ™ , Little League Baseball ® and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Ò and Museum. Bank of America’s deep-rooted support for baseball includes banking sponsorships with 10 Major League Baseball Clubs and 68 Minor League Baseball teams. Additionally, Bank of America’s completed merger with MBNA further expands its support of baseball with affinity credit and debit card relationships with 23 Major League Baseball Clubs.
Through its integrated association with the game, Bank of America is able to connect with a wide range of customers in a variety of ways. Among the activities that the bank is pursuing during the 2006 season to engage baseball fans at all levels include:
* As the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, Bank of America will continue its presenting sponsorship of the National League and American League Player of the Week Ò awards. This marks the third consecutive season that Bank of America has supported the award, which honors the accomplishments of the Leagues’ best players on a weekly basis throughout the season.
* In May, the Bank of America Neighborhood Champions program will begin its second year with the rollout of a new online nomination process. The program offers a way for communities to honor teachers, police officers, firefighters and healthcare professionals as “neighborhood champions.” The program is coordinated through the bank’s association with 68 Minor League Baseball teams, and provides these professionals – typically among the least likely to qualify for and own a home in the communities they serve – with access to the bank’s Neighborhood Champions ™ mortgage product, helping them to realize their dream of home ownership.
* As the Official Bank of Minor League Baseball, Bank of America will implement a new program in May – Small Business month – that celebrates the impact small businesses have in our nation’s communities. The Bank of America Small Business MVP program recognizes businesses for their commitment to the neighborhoods in which they are located. Small Business MVP’s will be honored during on field ceremonies by 17 Minor League teams in California and Florida, and have the opportunity to throw out the game’s first pitch and use a ballpark suite to entertain their own clients.
* As the Official Bank of Little League Baseball, Bank of America will be among the sponsors honoring the 2.7 million Little League players and the one million volunteers who help them play each season during the organization’s first International Opening Day Celebration. The event on April 7 in New York City launches Little League’s 68th season, and will include a game with current Little Leaguers, celebrity coaches, a musical tribute to the new season, and the Little League Pledge. Later this season, Bank of America will launch a number of new programs to help Little League districts throughout the country raise money for their organizations.
* Bank of America will produce 10 “Higher Standards” Hall of Fame moments for broadcast and other use. The vignettes will feature Hall of Fame players and managers and some of baseball’s most exceptional achievements, helping to promote history, honor excellence and connect generations to our country’s national pastime.
“By teaming up with baseball at all levels, Bank of America continues to support programs that benefit and build excitement for fans across the country,” added Parsons. “We are proud of our sponsorship of baseball, and find it to be a terrific marketing platform from which we can connect with our customers, associates and the hundreds of communities we support.”
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving 33 million consumer relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than twelve million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 85 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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