U.S. Bancorp’s name will be everywhere during the week of the Super Bowl even without a high-priced commercial during the game.
Fans will see it when they ride the light rail in Minneapolis, when they shop for official NFL gear and, of course, on the biggest billboard of them all, U.S. Bank Stadium, where the game is being played.
Like many local Minnesota organizations, U.S. Bank will take advantage of the Super Bowl being played in its hometown to connect with the 1 million people who are expected to visit the Twin Cities and the millions more who tune in to watch the game Feb. 4.
“We anticipate we are going to get more awareness and attention than we ever have before,” said Beth McDonnell, U.S. Bank’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
U.S. Bank, the nation’s fifth largest bank company, is a sponsorship partner of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, but not of the Super Bowl itself.
The company purchased TV commercials that will run locally during the Super Bowl pregame show, but it is not running national ads during the game, spots that cost $5 million for 30 seconds during last year’s Super Bowl.
“We are really focusing our efforts on local here and people and the families, getting them involved as opposed to our advertising,” McDonnell said.
U.S. Bank will partner with Visa to take over the McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks restaurant on the ground floor of its corporate office on Nicollet Mall and Ninth Street. The restaurant will be turned into U.S. Bank’s Possibilities Lounge, extending its “Power of Possible” marketing campaign, and will be part of the Super Bowl Live experience along Nicollet Mall.
In the football-themed lounge, visitors will be given scannable stickers that can be used to “buy” items like mittens and hats at a vending machine and coffee bar. It will also allow visitors to give money to a choice of local charities. Visitors can earn money for items and donations by performing touchdown dances in an interactive experience through Zelle, a digital payment service that is a partner of U.S. Bank. There will also be retired athletes at the lounge, which will be open on the Wednesday to Saturday before the Sunday game.
Entrance to the lounge and payment stickers will be free, though there is a more exclusive seating area for U.S. Bank cardholders that will be available.
The point of the lounge is for visitors to learn about these new payment methods “in a fun environment so you are learning but also enjoying yourself as well,” McDonnell said.
At the Super Bowl Experience, the NFL theme park that will be staged at the Minneapolis Convention Center, U.S. Bank and Visa will have a presence at the entrance of the NFL Shop.
U.S. Bank will also wrap some of the light-rail stations in advertising. It already has done so at the station closest to the stadium.
During the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, people who aren’t U.S. Bank customers but use their ATMs will also be able to donate their ATM fees to charity. Downtown branches will also sport some festive decor.
U.S. Bank selected three local young adults to be the inaugural members of its Future Leaders program and to network and learn some of the behind-the-scenes business logistics of putting together the Super Bowl.
There are also about 200 U.S. Bank employees who are officially volunteering with the Super Bowl host committee.