Sunday, August 19, 2001

What's the Buzz?

Ballpark will sport 5/3 logo

By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        For the second time in about two years, Fifth Third Bank has decided to put its logo on an Ohio sports complex.

        The Cincinnati-based bank's fraction emblem will appear on the new home of the Toledo Mud Hens minor-league baseball team.

        Fifth Third has bought naming rights for 15 years for the $39 million stadium, which is to open in April. Fifth Third, known for its aggressive marketing, hopes to draw more customers and retain existing ones in northwest Ohio with the naming rights.

        Fifth Third's latest sports marketing effort comes after the bank in late 1999 landed naming rights for another Fifth Third Field — that one being home of the Dayton Dragons minor-league baseball team.

        The move mirrors a trend among U.S. banks to attach their names to sporting venues to increase their exposure and marketing efforts.

        A key reason: Such sporting outlets allow banks to reach thousands of potential customers with diverse lifestyles and disposable income in a setting that's viewed as fun and entertaining.

        While Fifth Third declined to say how much it shelled out for the latest rights in Toledo, the bank insists the investment will be worth it.

        “It's a way for us to increase our exposure, possibly pick up new customers and make an investment in the community,” said Robbie Jennings, Fifth Third's spokeswoman.


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