Remember when Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto and Jim Palmer used to shill for The Money Store? Financial firms continue to rely heavily on high-profile endorsements. Following are some noteworthy examples.
Local Hero
MidSouth Bancorp (MSL) drafted former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme in 2012 to join the Lafayette, Louisiana company's advisory board and promote its services. Last year, Delhomme, who played college ball in Lafayette, became a bank director.
Scoring Points
America First Credit Union in Utah recruited Trey Burke, a point guard for the Utah Jazz, to participate in a social media campaign that kicked off last weekend during the NBA's All-Star Weekend.
You Talkin' to Me?
Santander Bank went with a Hollywood vibe, landing Robert De Niro to appear in ads informing consumers that the bank was no longer named Sovereign Bank in the U.S. De Niro also helped Santander pitch a generous new checking account offer.
Calling the Shots
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) arranged for the promotional services of University of Connecticut's womens basketball Geno Auriemma after it acquired Connecticut Bank & Trust. Auriemma was previously a Connecticut B&T director and recently left Berkshire Hills' board. He will continue to promote the bank.
No-Bull Marketing
Capital One (COF) faced criticism last year when it ran a commercial in which actor Samuel L. Jackson promised to offer credit card rewards "every damn day." The card issuer cleaned up the language in subsequent ads featuring the star of "Pulp Fiction" and "Snakes on a Plane."
Second to None
Pittsburgh residents are baseball crazy, so it was a natural for Mars National Bank to build a marketing campaign around Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker. Nor does it hurt that Walker grew up seven miles from the bank's headquarters.
Double Play
Hanmi Financial (HAFC) in Los Angeles was in the market for endorsements to resonate with the Korean-American community. It settled on two pitchmen from baseball: Shin-Soo Choo of the Cincinnati Reds (pictured) and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Strong-Arm Tactic
First Mariner Bancorp (FMAR) in Baltimore has a longstanding relationship with last year's Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco. It is unclear what will happen with that arrangement given First Mariner's plans to file for bankruptcy and auction off its bank.
A Familiar Voice
You never see his face, but many people will immediately recognize Morgan Freeman's voice in a series of ads for Visa. Samuel L. Jackson recent referenced Freeman's voice in a rant against a TV anchor who had confused Jackson with fellow actor Laurence Fishburne. (Image: Bloomberg News)