SBD/September 22, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Browns Sign Multiyear Deal With Fifth Third To Become Team's Second Bank Sponsor

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The Browns have reached a multiyear agreement with Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank to be the team's retail bank, completing a two-bank sponsorship approach it sought after cutting ties with PNC Bank in February. Cleveland-based KeyBank in June signed a long-term partnership to be the Browns' official wealth management and private bank. Browns Exec VP & CRO Brent Stehlik said, “We’re in a unique market where there’s several bank headquarters within a couple hundred miles. It gave us the opportunity to gauge the market and see if there was an opportunity to do some different things than we’ve done in the past.” Fifth Third's partnership includes special fan experiences, ATMs inside FirstEnergy Stadium, digital advertising and additional in-stadium signage. The bank beginning next year will offer fans team-branded check cards. Fifth Third will make its first big splash of the partnership on Oct. 1 when they present the Browns' game against the Bengals and offer a giveaway to fans as they walk through the gate. That will be separate from a promo offering fans attending that game free tickets to the Cedar Point amusement park.

TWO-PRONGED APPROACH: KeyBank’s contract includes new signage throughout the stadium, naming rights to the KeyBank Club and a joint initiative to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. Stehlik said that the Browns preferred the two-bank approach because it allows them to have two partners with local ties while also having the opportunity to expand their reach. “We were able to grow this category over almost 50% after winning one game last year and three games the year before." Stehlik said. "It’s really a testament to our fans, corporate sponsors and community seeing the opportunity of how our team is going to perform in the future.” He added, “In spite of that record, the fans are still here, the fans are still coming out and the fans are still passionate about the organization. All those metrics that businesses look at before investing in a team are still really strong with us, and that enabled us to make a big jump here.”
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