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GRANITE CITY, Ill.- GCS Federal Credit Union is ready to “root, root, root for the home team” at the newly named GCS BALLPARK. Minor League Baseball’s Frontier League Gateway Grizzlies recently announced the credit union has sponsored the naming rights of the $6.6 million baseball stadium previously known as GMC Stadium. When its lease expired and General Motors opted out of its sponsorship of the stadium, GCS FCU President/CEO Mark Holshouser says the naming rights deal was an opportunity the credit union couldn’t pass up. “We were recently approved to serve St. Clair County and when we were approached by the Grizzlies that the sponsorship was available we saw this as a great way to get a foothold there,” said Holshouser. “The stadium itself is a local jewel and the area around it is expanding and this stadium project gives us a good opportunity to really gain prominence and build name recognition.” Holshouser says it will also serve as a stepping stone to connect and strengthen relationships with area residents. While the partnership was solidified with the naming rights deal he says the credit union has always had a relationship with the ballpark sponsoring several events such as banner night. “GCS Federal Credit Union has been a partner of the Grizzlies since our humble beginnings at Sauget Field,” Grizzlies General Manager Tony Funderburg said. “This deal just elevates their level of support. We are thrilled to have them as a partner.” The ballpark features reserved box seating, lawn seating, party suites, two hot tubs and a section of bleacher seating. It was named 2005 Ballpark of the Year by digitalballparks.com and in more than four seasons over 655,000 fans have come to the ballpark to enjoy Gateway Grizzlies games. The largest crowd ever to see a Grizzlies game was 7,917 for last season’s finale on September 2. In addition, last year more than 9,000 fans jammed into the ballpark for a mid-summer concert featuring Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. As part of the 10-year naming rights package, the name GCS FCU will be positioned prominently on the stadium’s highway marquee as well as the main stadium entrance. The name GCS BALLPARK will be used in marketing and promotion of the Gateway Grizzlies. In addition the credit union will have a booth set up for all games; the CU logo prominently displayed on the ball players uniforms; and on field promotions for every game. GCS FCU has also partnered with local newspapers and radio stations. “Every time someone tunes into the ball game they will hear it was sponsored by us, our logo and name can be found everywhere in the stadium from the proshop to the concession booths,” said Holshouser. “We had to reallocate our marketing budget funds, but this is the answer to `how do we best approach letting members know we are here to serve in St. Clair County?’ and I think in this growing area we’ve done the best job in positioning ourselves as a part of the community. It is a very positive move for us and this gives us more bang for our buck than just sending out direct mailers would.” The Grizzlies will kick off their home season at GCS BALLPARK Wednesday, May 31 against the Florence Freedom.

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