BofA in Pact With NFL

NEW YORK The National Football League said today it has signed a three-year deal making Bank of America the league’s first “Official Bank of the NFL.”

Under terms of the deal, BofA will have exclusive rights in the banking services category to use the league’s shield logo and other NFL-licensed marks, such as the Super Bowl, in marketing and advertising promotions through the 2009 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

These services include consumer checking and savings, credit, debit and ATM cards, wire and currency transfers, currency exchange and community development banking. BofA will also have the rights to advertise on network and cable TV and radio during NFL regular season and playoff games as well as on NFL Network and NFL.com.

Bank of America said it would create an NFL-themed campaign to support its “Official Bank” status. BBDO, New York, is the lead agency for BofA, which spent about $600 million on media in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The agreement expands an alliance between BofA and the NFL that includes NFL and affinity credit cards for all 32 teams and the “Extra Points” rewards program under which consumers earn points to purchase NFL merchandise. MBNA, which was acquired by the bank in 2005, had been the “Official Credit Card Issuer” of the NFL and its teams, which then morphed into the Bank of America affinity cards program. In addition, the NFL’s Charlotte Panthers play in BofA Stadium, for which the financial firm paid about $140 million in 2004 for 20-year naming rights.

The first national initiative under the new deal will be NFL Checking, which includes NFL and team-specific personal banking products, such as check cards and checks with NFL or team logos. These items initially will be available for the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins but will expand to all NFL teams in November.

“When you look at the NFL’s fan base and landscape, that is a perfect match for Bank of America,” said Susan Faulkner, deposits executive at BofA, Charlotte, N.C. “This is a powerful alliance that will generate new customers for us while enhancing the experience for fans of the NFL.”

Among other sports alliances, BofA is the official bank of both Nascar and Major League Baseball and is an official sponsor of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.