Last month, West Coast-based financial services company Wells Fargo teamed up its New York-area financial advisors with a local fund-raising bowling event for 350 guests. On March 2, the brand sponsored Brian Leonard’s Rally at the Alley, which raises money to help New Brunswick, NJ-based Embrace Kids Foundation fight cancer (Leonard is a former New Jersey Rutgers star and current Cincinnati Bengals running back). In addition to its charitable contribution, Wells Fargo rewarded employees and key customers by sponsoring five company-exclusive branded bowling lanes for the night at the chic bowling and event space 300 at Chelsea Piers. Fellow sponsor ESPN Fantasy also sponsored bowling lanes and both brands had celebrity athletes on hand to participate. For Wells Fargo, the lead corporate sponsor of the rally, the event served a dual purpose.
“First, financial firms have gotten a bad rap, but we are Main Street and community involvement is central to our vision and values, and this helps get that message out,” Chuck Anastasiou, director of investments at Wells Fargo, who handled the program, told Buzz. “Second, we invited clients that are advocates for the company, because word of mouth is the best type of advertising. The vast majority of our best clients come to us on a referral basis.”
The guest list included 25 athletes, like NFL stars Ray Rice, Cedric Benson and Shaun O’Hara, as well as Embrace Kids Foundation families who shared their stories during the opening ceremonies. All attendees received branded footballs. Additional athlete-autographed cleats and jerseys signed during a VIP luncheon attended by the press earlier the same day were auctioned off. The auction raised more than $60,000. Agency: Lunar Sports, Caldwell, NJ.