SBJ/20080623/This Week's News

Golf promotion creates interest for Wachovia

Wachovia deemed its consumer promotion around the PGA Tour stop that it title sponsors in Charlotte a success, based on the number of new account signups in the weeks after the tournament.

The Charlotte-based financial institution awarded a special 16 percent interest rate from June through August based on the final score. First-time winner Anthony Kim won the event at 16-under par, a record score for a tournament that produced winning scores of 10 to 13 under par in its first five years.

In the four weeks following the conclusion of the tournament on May 4, Wachovia said new account openings for its Way2Save savings program were up 43 percent compared with the seven weeks prior.

The Way2Save program was launched in January and automatically transfers $1 from checking to a savings account for each check card purchase, bill paid online or automatic debit.

The 16 percent rate results in a 7.98 percent annual yield for customers who signed up before eligibility closed at the end of May. Account holders typically receive a 5 percent annual yield and a 5 percent annual bonus in the first year, which drops to a 2 percent annual yield and a 2 percent bonus in the second and third years.

Wachovia touted the promotion using the television and print inventory provided by its sponsorship, and also made separate buys in USA Today.

Francie Gottsegen, vice president and director of sponsorships and alliances for Wachovia, would not speculate whether the bank would re-institute the promotion next year.

“We can leverage the tournament to target so many different audiences from a promotional standpoint,” she said. “We thought this was innovative and very unique, and after it’s done it becomes less so, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t consider doing it next year.”

Wachovia is thought to be the first PGA Tour tournament sponsor to tie a promotion to the final score of its event. The PGA Tour said no other title sponsors are planning scoring promotions in 2008.

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