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There’s a new program out there helping credit unions connect to Gen Y. Its powerful lure? Music.Marketing Partners, a marketing agency based in Bethlehem, Pa., created a program it calls musicstream LIVE. Credit unions in the program hold concerts at local high schools, colleges and community events. At the concerts, credit unions have the opportunity to distribute financial literacy information, award prizes, promote services and get their name out into the Gen Y community. The concerts are also streamed live over the Internet at www.musicstreamlive.com for those who can’t attend the event in person.Marketing Partners President Bill McKenna got the idea for the program after a conversation with his son, who said that music gets people excited about anything.Marketing Partners developed the program over a two-year period and started to work with credit unions to launch musicstream LIVE this year.“It’s an opportunity for the credit union to be in front of kids for two hours and talk about the credit union. It’s good for the individual credit union and the industry as a whole because press gets generated about the concerts,” said Allison McDaniel, director of musicstream LIVE.Choice One Community Credit Union in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., held a musicstream concert at Wilkes University. The concert brought in approximately 200 students to listen to the Woody Browns Project and Scott McKenna.Choice One tied the concert to its financial literacy program offered at the college, Money Matters. The credit union sold tickets to the concert, and all proceeds went to the literacy program. The credit union set up a booth at the event and handed out booklets called “College Student Survival Guide: Financial Survival.” Concertgoers also had the chance to spin a wheel to win prizes.Though the credit union had a few new members sign up at the event, Director of Marketing and Business Development Sue Bat said, “It’s more about creating an awareness that we’re here.”So far, McDaniel said that young people attending the concerts have been excited and those that are already members of the credit union were boasting that they were members.Choice One will be sponsoring two more musicstream events this year.Visions Federal Credit Union in Endicott, N.Y. will be holding two musicstream events at the end of the summer. One event will take place on Aug. 29 at Binghamton University in upstate New York, where the credit union recently opened a branch. The concert will take place at an orientation event for new students and returning students. The other concert will take place in early September at a local high school in the credit union’s field of membership.Visions will pass out information on how to budget, and a Visions employee will emcee the concert and deliver “commercials” about Visions and financial literacy when the bands take breaks.For all concert events, musicstream employees coordinate with the musicians and help work with school administrators to set up the event. For the Visions’ concert, musicstream was able to get a local band made up of Binghamton University graduates, a national band and musicians Scott McKenna and Nyke Van Wyk.“I thought it was terrific that they found the local band to perform. Since they’re graduates of the university, it brings in familiarity. Personally, I think this is the concept of the future,” said Jayne Searles, assistant vice president of marketing at Visions.The high school event Visions will hold will take place during the school day in the school’s auditorium for all 600-800 students. While the musicstream LIVE program allows the credit union to coordinate with groups and clubs to sell tickets like Choice One did, Visions decided to make both events free.To set up the events, Searles said that Visions provided musicstream with a list of schools in its field of membership. The company took the list and started contacting the schools. Once it found a school that was interested, it went back to the credit union and coordinated a meeting with the school administrators. Representatives from both musicstream and the credit union met with administrators to map out the details of the concerts.“Both sets of administrators were thrilled with the idea. They thought it was a unique way to get the message out and a great way to start the school year off,” Searles said.–[email protected]

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