Super Deals: CUs Tie Promos To Super Bowl XLI

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INDIANAPOLIS - Credit unions across the country are gearing up for Super Bowl XLI's Midwestern battle between the The Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears.

Andy Mattingly, SVP strategy and marketing, at the $980-million FORUM CU in the Colts hometown, said his CU backed the team long before it was a Super Bowl contender. Among the perks associated with its sponsorship are radio and TV spots throughout the season, access to a player for CU promotional purposes and logo visibility on a rotating screen at the team's home field.

FORUM also hosts the team's official Online Fan Forum that invites fans to share their thoughts about the Colts.

Having the Colts in the playoffs gives FORUM added exposure with TV advertising during the pre-game show, Mattingly said. While the CU has paid for in-game spots for the last three years running, it opted out this year because the cost-$80,000 for a 30-second spot-was too much.

FORUM is working out details of how much it will participate in local pre-game events. Members can expect football related freebies in the branches next week, he said.

In Alamogordo, N.M., $170-million Otero FCU has invited members to "score a touchdown with a low loan rate" and earn a chance to win prizes that include a Super Bowl party pack and a grand prize tied to the final score.

For each $1,000 financed through various loans, the member receives a ticket for a drawing. Each branch draws one ticket weekly, giving the winning member a party pack full of treats. All the winning tickets are then in a grand prize drawing after the big game. The grand prize will be paid at 25 times to total final score.

For example, if the final score were 50 to 50, the grand prize would be $2,500.

The $17.6-million Morton R. Lane State University FCU in Buffalo, N.Y, launched a football season debit card promotion offering members a chance to win up to $150.

To qualify, members must use their Visa debit cards between Oct. 1, 2006 and Jan. 31, 2007. For each $150 they spend will earn them the square of their choice on one of several charts available at all of the CU's offices. Winners will be determined by half time and final scores of the game.

The $333-million Midwest America in Fort Wayne, Ind., purchased TV spots during the Colts' season and partnered with a local radio station to transport fans to the team's field for tailgate parties. To celebrate both teams-and because it has three branches in neighboring Illinois-the CU's 200 employees are being invited to wear their jersey of choice on Feb. 2 - if they can find one.

"I went to Meijer (department store) at noon yesterday to get a new Colts shirt but they didn't have my size," he said. "A buddy of mine went there at 5 o'clock and there were none left."

WGE FCU in Muncie, Ind., will be showing its true colors during an in-house Super Bowl party on Friday, Feb. 2 that will include blue and white decorations and 8-inch long Subway subs at all branch locations.

"WGE has been supporting the Colts for the last three games by wearing Colts attire with jeans and tennis shoes on Fridays and Saturdays," said Tracy Dishman, marketing director of the $110-million WGE. "The staff loves it and our members love it, too."

CSCU got in on the action last year when it offered every CSCU credit union that took advantage of the free football season-related statement insert and/or in-branch marketing materials a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl XLI that will be played in Miami, Fla., on Feb. 4.

Cardholders also got in on the action simply by using their Visa cards between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2006.

For each purchase they made, they were automatically entered into a drawing for prizes that included trips for two to see their favorite NFL team play in its archrival's stadium and $50 Visa cards.

A spokeswoman at CSCU said officials were in the process of contacting winners.

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