Dream On A Disney CU Cashes In On Summer Tourist Season

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During the summer tourist season, the Disneyland Resort employs approximately 20,000 "cast members"-the Disney term for everyone from street sweepers to those who don the Mickey Mouse costume-providing Partners FCU a huge growth opportunity.

Partners FCU currently serves just under half of those employees, and has launched a campaign to increase participation.

Partners FCU began sending a marketing piece to all cast members who did not belong to the credit union. The color brochure stresses the benefits of membership in the CU, and includes a loan calculator wheel that shows what the monthly payment would be for auto loans ranging from $5,000 to $40,000. It also includes a membership application and a business reply envelope.

Andrew Downin, vice president of marketing for Partners, said that because of the large number of employees involved, the CU sent out the mailers in four weekly batches of 2,500 each from February into March.

The strategy was that staggering the mailings would allow potential new members to get individual service when they visited a branch for the first time. In addition to the postal campaign, he said, all new cast members will receive the marketing piece as they are hired this year.

"When people come to Disneyland, dreams can happen. Our cast members make those dreams happen every day," said Downin. "The mailer asks them, 'What can the credit union do to make your dreams come true?'"

According to Downin, 48% of cast members at the Disneyland Resort belonged to the CU before the campaign began.

He said the membership drive has drawn about a 4% response rate through the second week of June, and that Partners expects to keep getting responses throughout the summer as new hires come on board.

The campaign, known as "Your Dreams Begin Here," also includes advertising at bus stops, in branches and at various locations behind the scenes at the Disneyland Resort.

Disney employees appeared on the mailer and on the loan calculator wheel, and Downin said they have become minor celebrities.

"Several of the cast members featured in the campaign have been asked to autograph the mailers as a collectible," he said.

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