WesCom Says It Has Hit In Tie-In With MLB's Angels

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When the many red-clad fans of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim left Angels Stadium May 25, they had Wescom Credit Union's name on their backs.

The community CU with a large field of membership-Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties-jumped into its first sports sponsorship in a big way. It distributed T-shirts to the first 40,000 fans to enter the turnstiles for the Angels game against the Chicago White Sox.

Brian Siegel, Wescom's vice president of marketing and communication, told The Credit Union Journal the large-scale giveaway represents the CU is taking "the next step."

"We're really excited about this. It is a big thing for us," he said before the event. "Our staff is very excited, as well, and we have gotten a lot of positive feedback from members."

After decades of mediocrity, the Angels won the 2002 World Series and the American League's Western Division in 2004. The club has set attendance records two consecutive seasons, drawing more than 3 million fans for the first time in 2003, and more than 3.4 million last year. With a record season ticket base of 27,500 this season, and the team in first place in the Western Division, the Angels once again are poised to draw more than 3 million people- affectionately known as the "Sea of Red"-thus the attraction for Wescom.

"We wanted to do advertising with the Angels this year," said Siegel. "In the course of negotiations, we decided to do more than just in-stadium ads. We were told a t-shirt night was available."

The t-shirts have the words "Angels Baseball" on the front, and the Wescom logo on the back. In addition, a Wescom employee threw out the ceremonial first pitch the night of the giveaway.

For one half-inning of each of the 81 home games, Wescom's name and logo is displayed on a ring that circles the stadium from foul pole to foul pole. Also, an animated Wescom logo with words flying in periodically is shown on the main video boards in left and right field.

Siegel said Wescom opened a new branch in the city of Orange, Calif., just a few miles from Angels Stadium, on May 19. Scot Shields, a relief pitcher for the ball club, was present for the grand opening.

"He pitched the ninth inning the day before in Cleveland and saved the game, and the next day, he was nice enough to be in Orange. It was our biggest-attended opening ever. I don't have any figures, but there was a steady line for autographs."

"We are very excited about our partnership with the Angels this year. We are very glad we pursued this," he added.

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