Are financial marketers wasting their money on sports sponsorships?

Financial brands throw a ton of money at stadium naming rights, scoreboard ads, logos on star athletes' jerseys, and specific events or series. Is it mostly an ego trip? Or can the ROI truly be measured and compared against other options? Experts share ways to be sure the investment pays off.

There’s a common thread running through financial institution marketing from the biggest to the smallest. Sports.

The biggest institutions have their names all over baseball, soccer, golf, football, and many other sports. Bank of America and Citi are among the largest bank sponsors of sporting events, each spending between $80 million and $85 million per year, according to ESP Properties.

Sports fan website The Comeback says 30 out of 123 U.S. major sports league teams play in venues named after banks. Here are a few:

  • Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers, NFL)
  • Citi Field (New York Mets, MLB)
  • Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA)
  • Capital One Arena (Washington Capitals, NHL)
  • U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings, NFL)

But that’s just the big guys. Banc of California, a new brand, in 2013 hooked up with The Los Angeles Football Club in 2016 for the rights to name the club’s new home field the Banc of California stadium. It cost the bank $100 million over 15 years, Bloomberg reported.


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