Ten months after becoming a truly coast-to-coast brand, Wells Fargo & Co. has set its sights on national properties.

The bank, which in October 2012 completed the three-year process of converting former Wachovia branches under the Wells Fargo brand, last month announced its first national partnership with a four-year tie to Major League Soccer.

And additional deals with other national properties are a possibility, said Nick Carey, Wells Fargo’s vice president of sponsorship.

“We’ll consider new opportunities as they come in. We’re always looking to build our brand and deliver value.”

For now the bank has its hands full with Major League Soccer. The goal: build national visibility while gaining local touch points.

“We were looking for properties that afford national scale and programming that allows us to market to customers and deliver benefits to team members,” said Carey, noting that the deal took roughly nine months to complete. 

In addition to Hispanics, Major League Soccer provides access to Millennials, another key audience segment for the bank.

“The younger generation is the future of our business.”

The sponsorship builds on a two-year-old tie to the MLS San Jose Earthquakes, a property located near the bank’s San Francisco headquarters. The MLS partnership replicates several elements of the team sponsorship.

Taking A Local Program National
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Wells Fargo will build on its tie to the Quakes’ Goals for Education program with the MLS Works Community MVP Award. The award—which is given to individuals who go beyond the call of duty in their community—gives the bank a marketing platform in each of the 19 MLS club markets.

Wells Fargo also will co-present MLS Futbolito, a national series of 4v4 amateur soccer tournaments. The program—which kicked off last weekend—builds on the bank’s presenting status of amateur tournaments with the Quakes.

“We’ve been involved with the Earthquakes on a number of programs, and we look forward to expanding those initiatives to the national level,” said Carey.  

Wells Fargo kicked off the partnership at the AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Kansas City. The bank gained field board exposure, in-stadium advertising and participation in the MLS Works Community Awards ceremony.

While the bank is still developing activation programs, it plans to leverage the partnership across multiple business units. The tie affords exclusivity in the retail banking and commercial lending categories.

“We have dozens of business lines in those two categories,” said Carey.

Regional marketing managers spearhead local and regional deals, some of which are used to reward customers. Wells Fargo this year leveraged its presenting sponsorship of a Snow White exhibition at San Francisco’s The Walt Disney Family Museum by offering free tickets to cardholders.  

Other ties include the Wells Fargo Championship PGA Tour stop in Charlotte, N.C. (the former Wachovia Championship); the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and California’s Sonoma International Film Festival.