Eastern Bank Signs Football’s Flutie

BOSTON As it prepares for an aggressive expansion into greater Boston’s Western suburbs, Easten Bank has signed NFL quarterback and local legend Doug Flutie as its spokesman through at least 2005. Terms were not disclosed.

Flutie, who currently plays for the San Diego Chargers but was a 1984 Heisman Trophy winner for Boston College, will make personal appearances for Eastern and may appear in ads for the bank. Eastern uses Boston independent Connelly Partners/CGN as its agency. Annual ad spending has been $1-2 million.

With $4.5 billion in assets and 50 branches, Eastern is caught up in a tough local battle against several large national banks, such as FleetBoston, Citizens Bank and Sovereign, as well as regional competitors like Banknorth.