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PHOENIX – Faced with an area that is as diverse as it is expansive, variety is the key to Desert Schools Federal Credit Union’s marketing success. “I think the biggest challenge here is that with the expansion here in Phoenix there can’t be a one size fits all approach to marketing so we try to do a lot of outside of the box ideas to better reflect the changing face of Phoenix,” said Senior Director of Marketing Jamie Boyer. With a member median age that is described as younger, more active and mobile than most financial institutions, Boyer says a brand position developed over a year ago “Where You Belong” has helped strengthen its identity in the community. “A lot of residents here are transplants and are looking to be part of something. Since we do have a sense of family as an organization we want members to feel like this is a place where they do belong and fit in,” said Boyer. “That we understand their needs and are here to help- from an employer perspective we also want to be the place to work so `where you belong’ really encapsulates all that Desert Schools has to offer.” In addition to numerous community outreach efforts, to help reach this diverse group of members and potential members, the over $2 billion credit union has turned at least one marketing eye to sports. Recently Desert Schools FCU signed a two-year marketing agreement with the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals. “The Arizona Cardinals represent staying power, tenacity and grit,” said Desert Schools FCU Vice President/Chief Information Officer Rondle K. Amstutz. “We are proud to affiliate with this franchise and further extend our reach into the community. After all, we’ve shown our tenacity by becoming Arizona’s fastest growing credit union-it’s a great match.” As part of the deal, in addition to a slew of television commercials, former Cardinals star Luis Zendejas has been tapped for all radio spots targeted to reach the Hispanic market. The ads will introduce new member products and marketing promotions related to basic products and services. This marks the credit union’s third marketing sponsorship with a local sports team. Desert Schools FCU also has partnerships with Arizona State University and the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes. “This partnership enables us to creatively express our marketing message to a strategic audience as well as develop promotional collateral that feature Cardinals players and past players,” said Amstutz. “We’re the only credit union to maintain a marketing relationship with three sports teams including two professional teams.” Targeting ASU alumni, the ASU partnership is wrapped around a checking product dubbed “ASU Pride.” According to Boyer, ASU Pride checking lets members demonstrate their loyalty to the university with Visa debit cards or checks featuring the school’s “Sparky” mascot. Some 400,000 NHL Coyotes fans not only visit the renamed Desert Schools Coyotes Center for games but they also have their own “team themed” accounts in addition to eligibility for special Coyotes ticket discounts. To keep the buzz going, Desert Schools has recently added to its standard advertising media mix of billboards,radio, television and print a fleet Toyota Scion-wrapped billboards. Promoting an assortment of member products, the traveling billboards can be seen zipping around town or making appearances at community events. “Our approach in mixing traditional and creative has really helped us build more top of mind awareness here,” said Boyer. “Again there is not just one way to reach members so it is a sign of the times here- you have to be nimble.” [email protected]

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