NWPCU Seeks To Boost Visibility; Sponsors Event Center

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In an effort to increase its visibility in the local area, NorthWest Plus Credit Union has signed on as the official financial partner with the city's brand new arena, the Everett Events Center.

In addition, NorthWest Plus, a community CU open to all who live, work or worship in Washington state, as well as members of 90 SEGs, sponsors the Everett Silvertips, a first-year franchise in the Western Hockey League. The inaugural home game for the Silvertips took place Oct. 4 before a sell-out crowd.

Doug Bennett, the credit union's CEO, said the arena is one of the biggest things to come to this city, which is 25 miles north of Seattle.

"It was the vision of city officials and local businesses to attract visitors to the city of Everett," he said. "We are looking forward to this great partnership that is beneficial for both NorthWest Plus Credit Union and the Everett Events Center. But the most significant beneficiary will be the greater Everett community."

The Events Center will hold 8,300 fans for hockey games, and up to 10,000 for other events. In addition to the Silvertips, the arena will host Disney On Ice, Champions On Ice, rodeos, circuses, concerts, conventions and local high school events. The Events Center also features a public ice skating facility.

NorthWest Plus has three ATMs in the arena, signage in several areas and there will be name announcements during Silvertips games. In return, the credit union will help publicize the happenings at the Events Center with signage in its five branches in Snohomish and Skagit Counties.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, the credit union has suite access at the arena, which Bennett said will be used for a variety of purposes.

A 'Suite' Deal

"The suite will be used for local charity events as an auction item. On some nights, we will allow members and employees admission to the suite in exchange for a donation to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals."

NorthWest Plus switched to a community charter in 1995. Bennett, who has been CEO for seven years, said the sponsorship is the kind of thing community CUs must do to promote themselves. He said being a community credit union is more expensive than a SEG-based CU, but emphasized NorthWest Plus will not be spending additional funds on marketing than it has the past five years-money will be reallocated.

"The marketing results in the previous years had not produced the numbers we were hoping for. Our assets grew, but our member base did not-we had negative growth some years, and it was below the national average in other years."

"This is an excellent opportunity," Bennett continued. "The Everett Events Center is the biggest thing this area has done to promote the city. The sponsorship is a way to reach out and be in front of up to 10,000 people every time there is an event. It is a great way to support the community and spread the word about NorthWest Plus Credit Union."

Bennett said the credit union's sponsorship is a five-year deal, but declined to share the cost of the sponsorship, citing a confidentiality agreement.

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