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PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Power 1 Credit Union is looking to plug into towns filled with loyal National Football League Miami Dolphin fans by sponsoring the popular Miami Dolphins Pre-game Show on local AM radio station WQAM, which is South Florida’s only all sports talk radio station. “People down here in South Florida go to home games early, set up tents for their tailgate parties and listen to pregame festivities,” said Power1 CU Marketing Director Stephen Webb. “This has been a very good buy for us. The Dolphins even have a few Monday and Thursday night games so with weekday games starting at 7 p.m. we go on with the pregame show a few hours before so our name will be heard during prime drive time.” According to Webb another benefit of the deal is that football appeals to both men and women and crosses all socio-economic lines, so the $308 million credit union really stretches its marketing dollar. “We wanted to be a major sponsor of a team with a winning tradition and down here that is the Dolphins,” said Webb. “In marketing we’re always looking to place spots on `top’ radio stations, but `top’ really depends on the demographic. What is great is that this pregame show pulls in those listeners from all those other `top’ stations.” Webb had been in talks with radio station salespeople since the beginning of baseball season about co-branding with the Dolphins or running an ad during the game, but it was too costly at $2,000 a spot. Later on the station contacted Webb about the pregame show. For a monthly budget of about $10,000, the credit union has its name mentioned at least five times during each show, which is called the Power 1 Credit Union Countdown to Kickoff, over the course of football season-including preseason home games. As part of the deal the credit union was also provided several complimentary tickets to home games. On game days, plans are underway to “suit up” branches in Dolphin colors and gear, have credit union staffers wear their Dolphin shirts and hold raffles for free Dolphin tickets for members and nonmembers alike who open a new account. After undergoing a name change a few years ago, the sponsorship is just part of Power 1 CU’s second branding phase of name recognition, which includes billboards, direct mailings and targeted advertising in local newspapers’ hometown issues. With a recent move to a new headquarters and three new branches in the Broward County area, Webb says his marketing team of three have been busy getting the Power 1 CU name out to the public. “Although our name change was several years ago as we moved into the new Broward market, we found that consumers still thought they could only join if they worked for Florida Power and Light,” said Webb. “That is what prompted us to launch the billboard campaign. It seems to be working. One of our staffers takes classes at a local college and some of his fellow students saw just our logo on his shirt and pointed to him and said `Not a bank better’.That is what we want, an instant name recognition.” The billboards are strategically placed next to some of South Florida’s busiest highways and intersections. Other print ads and graphics are done in-house by the team of three. The credit union has also branched into advertising on local cable stations in new developments surrounding their branches in Weston and Silver Lakes. The ads play up the FPL tie-in by taking a page from the popular “Bob from FPL” spots, which ask consumers what they would do with the energy savings from their FPL bill. The hook of the ad is that the public only hears Bob’s voice and sees his hand holding a microphone. Webb tapped the vocal talents of a staffer and sent her out to conduct street interviews with members as they walk out of the branches asking them about their experience with the credit union. “I was surprised that cable could be so affordable,” said Webb. “That 30-second spot ran for weeks on the local ESPN, A&E, TNT, PBS, MSNBC and Discovery Channel and it was affordable because it was in the hometown market. My advice to any marketer is to foster relationships with salespeople at local radio stations, cable companies, newspapers because you may find like we did that such advertising can be affordable.” [email protected]

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