First Leisure CU, LA Lakers Sponsorship Deal Takes Subsequent Step Into Debit Playing cards

Design of the First Entertainment CU/Lakers debit card. (Source: First Entertainment CU)

Following their spring announcement of a major multi-season sponsorship agreement, First Entertainment Credit Union and the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team are launching a new Lakers-themed debit card that aims to “connect members to exclusive moments and experiences” with the iconic team, the Hollywood, Calif.-based credit union said.

The Lakers® Debit Card, which will be available starting in September, further drives the longtime Los Angeles-area financial organization “in the direction of a lifestyle and entertainment brand,” according to a news release last week from the credit union announcing the new Lakers branded affinity debit card.

First Entertainment, which has $1.6 billion in assets and about 87,000 members, said that in broadening out its well-known brand in LA it is “determined to serve the region in a variety of ways that speak specifically to the needs, interests and passions of the community.”

In early March, the credit union, which was founded by employees of Warner Bros. Studio more than 50 years ago, announced the new Lakers sponsorship deal – though its financial terms were not disclosed – and said the partnership would include branding and promotions inside the STAPLES Center for Lakers home games, along with themed live events and advertising around Los Angeles area.

At the same time in March, First Entertainment announced and entered into an individual partnership with All-Star Lakers forward Anthony Davis. That separate deal with Davis, who has worked with the credit union on a video promotion financial literacy in Los Angeles, includes the 6-foot-10 player becoming the institution’s first official brand ambassador with an ad campaign and TV spot titled “All Dreams Apply Here,” according to First Entertainment.

The deals with the Lakers and Davis were a first-of-its-kind for the credit union, First Entertainment has said. In announcing the new Lakers debit card, the credit union said “both of these sponsorship arrangements are first steps in expanding First Entertainment’s brand story within the local Los Angeles lifestyle and entertainment space, and the Lakers-branded affinity debit card allows First Entertainment members to bring their passion for the team to their finances.”

“Further establishing the relationship between the Lakers organization and First Entertainment is an endeavor we don’t take lightly, especially in a time when we’re missing events that have long played a critical part in creating a sense of community and home for Lakers fans ,” Amondo Redmond, First Entertainment’s chief marketing officer, said in the release.

Davis said, “First Entertainment’s Lakers® Debit Card presents a way for all of us to celebrate the partnership that has brought so many of us together, no matter where we are or where we’re from.”

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