A Gaggle of Sports Sponsorships Scores Runs and Goals for Texans CU
RICHARDSON, Texas -- When it comes to sports promotions, the $1.9 billion Texans Credit Union is involved big time these days, pitching and throwing with an array of professional and amateur teams ranging from the Frisco Baseball Roughriders of the Texas Rangers to the Texas Tornados Junior A Hockey team.
"Sure, all those sponsorships can be costly but we've found there are so many side benefits in getting access to game tickets and hospitality that it turns out very worthwhile in driving whatever product we happen to be working on--whether it be debit cards, checking accounts or something else," said Shalissa Clary, Texans public relations director.
Little more than two months ago, Texans even linked a successful debit card promotion to the NFL Super Bowl Championship game in Phoenix, giving away a ticket and transportation package to members who most often used their debit card "for everyday purchases."
"Our Big Game promotion brought in 1,291 checking accounts, with 80.56% of those accounts opting for a Platinum Texans Check Card," said Clary. "We expected around 70% of members opening checking would opt for a debit card, but, in addition, 1,026 members who already had checking accounts added a check card during the promotion."
That number, she said, more than doubled what the CU had expected, with average transaction amounts climbing up from $34 to $38.
In another promotion this month involving a plaque giveaway of Dallas Stars Hockey Player Mike Modano, Texans said it hopes to also increase check card usage.
Under the Modano campaign running from Feb.1 though March 31, members who use their check card for a $50 purchase can receive an autographed commemorative plaque from the star. The first 500 accounts opened receive a Dallas Stars hockey puck. Texans said it has limited the offer to one per member, valid only on personal accounts and not available on account conversions.
"The member will receive a commemorative plaque signed by Mike Modano for making 30 point-of-sale transactions, minimum of $5 per transaction, within 90 days of opening an account," said Texans.
As it turns out, the plaque is more economical than T-shirt jerseys as a giveaway, said Clary. "As licensed products, the jerseys can run $100 a piece, and, besides, we're getting a better response from the plaques."
Regarding team sponsorships, Texans has relationships going back to 2002. "We began our sponsorship with the Frisco Roughriders, the AAA baseball affiliate of the Texas Rangers, in 2002 as a three-year deal and extended in 2005 for another five years," said Clary, noting Texans remains the dominant financial institution sponsor.
Texans also holds exclusive rights among financial institutions for the Pizza Hut Park FC Dallas Major League Soccer team under a 10-year agreement begun in 2004. Texans has been using newspaper, radio and e-mail newsletters as part of its media buys.
The sponsorship trend, said Clary, "is something that has simply evolved for us over the years, and the employees seem to love it, too. We are easily able to track goals and results and this gives us an edge with sports fans."
Clary pointed out that Texans is not entirely sports-oriented and maintains a 10-partnership with the Arts of Collin County Commission building an arts complex for Dallas suburb of Allen, Frisco and Plano. Under the partnership as a corporate sponsor, Texans holds naming rights to a planned Texans Credit Union Terrace and Grill in the facility.