Promoting Financial Ed To Hispanic Market-Sounds Like A Job For Capt. Super Saver

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HOUSTON - In a unique approach to preach financial education to the area's Hispanic market, PrimeWay FCU debuted its newest superhero during a professional soccer game here recently.

The bilingual Captain Super Saver-a.k.a. Rodney James, business partner specialist at PFCU-wore a black mask along with tights and a cape of blue and yellow as he entered a crowd of about 16,000 people during a home game of Dynamo, Houston's first professional soccer team.

He had an entourage of people with him that were handing out stuff with fun, financial facts," said Michelle Oshinski, VP of marketing at the $262-million PFCU, noting that while soccer games are not traditionally ideal events to talk about finances, the costumed character and the mostly Hispanic crowd created an ideal opportunity.

"Many people lowered their guard in the fun environment to listen to and absorb fun, interesting facts from Captain Super Saver," she said.

Oshinski said many of the soccer fans asked questions of Captain Super Saver and the volunteers who surrounded him.

"We thought it would go over well with the kids, but were particularly surprised by the positive response from adults," she said, explaining that Captain Super Saver, with his superpowers to help people make better financial choices to improve their lifestyles, moved through the stands during the game and participated in halftime activities on the field.

As the team's inaugural season sponsor, PFCU had access to the event, Oshinski said. The campaign cost just under $11,000 for the costume, brochures and other support materials that included water bottles with both the CU and team logos emblazoned on them, Oshinski said, adding that the CU did not track the success of the event because the goal was only to spread the word about PrimeWay and financial matters, in general.

"The campaign was not so much meant to convert this into new memberships, but to expose more people to the idea of a credit union," she said.

By the response the stadium personnel got after the fact, it was effective.

"The Dynamo staff called to tell us they had never gotten any type of feedback on a sponsor before this," she said. "Fans told them they thought this was a great idea."

Oshinski said fans and credit union members haven't seen the last of Captain Super Saver.

"It went over so well that we plan to definitely continue to use him in future promotions," she said, adding that he will become a regular part of the CU's children's club.

Captain Super Saver also acknowledged the request of one particular soccer fan-City Councilman Rodney Ellis-to attend a birthday party for his son. (c) 2007 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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