SBD/February 9, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Webster Bank Partners With Celtics G Ray Allen For Promotional Deal

Connecticut-based Webster Bank today announced a marketing partnership with Celtics G Ray Allen through August '12. Financial terms were not available for the deal, under which Webster gains full marketing and endorsement rights to the former UConn standout for use throughout the bank's New England/N.Y. footprint. Allen will appear in advertising, marketing and collateral materials for Webster, as well as make special appearances at bank events. Boston-based Altus Marketing & Management, which has handled previous promotional events involving sports stars for Webster, brokered the deal. "The original strategy of partnering with athletes was definitely being well-received, and the thought was, 'Let's try to define one athlete that could represent the brand in the best possible way,'" said John Ivey, Managing Partner for Altus. "Ray immediately came to the forefront, by virtue of both the geographic connection with Ray and Webster's Connecticut roots, and also his prominence here in Boston." Ivey added that the bank is looking to expand the partnership to include Allen's charitable foundation. Today's announcement was accompanied by the release of "The Webster Dream Team," a viral video starring Allen, his former UConn coach and fellow Webster endorser Jim Calhoun and a group of bank employees. The video, reminiscent of ESPN's "This is 'SportsCenter'" ads, features Allen interacting with bank employees in a variety of settings. Boston-based Kelliher Samets Volk produced the video, which concludes with a blooper reel. Webster VP/Marketing Joanne Renna said the bank decided to produce a video in conjunction with the announcement in an effort to utilize social media. "We were just looking for a way to get some additional buzz instead of doing a traditional press release," she said. Meanwhile, Allen enters tomorrow's Lakers-Celtics game only one three-point field goal shy of tying Reggie Miller for the all-time NBA record, but Renna said the timing of the announcement is coincidental.
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