Credit One Bank approaches its partnerships looking to build customers and attract employees.
The two-pronged approach will be exemplified this weekend as Kyle Larson and his Credit One Bank car will be at the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is the fourth season as a sponsor of NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing and, specifically, the primary sponsor of Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet.
“We’ve seen good improvements in our awareness,” said Laura Faulkner, Credit One Bank vice president of marketing. “NASCAR has been there since the beginning, producing the results we were looking for, so it’s adding on to that.”
The initial jump into sponsoring NASCAR was because the consumer credit card-focused bank was growing fast and the direct marketing campaigns needed help, Faulkner said.
With NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing, Credit One Bank campaigns have been able to be experimental, Faulkner said. The experimenting developed into “Credit One Lap To Go” and has since expanded to other sports, like “Credit One Minute To Go” at Vegas Golden Knights games.
“That’s one of those things we tried out because we didn’t see other sponsors doing it and that worked,” she said. “People know us for that and we can take that to other sports — a focus that’s signature to us.
“We’re appreciative of NASCAR for letting us try different things and adjusting those that don’t work and increasing the things we do.”
Since sponsoring NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing, Credit One Bank has expanded to become the official credit card of the Golden Knights, Big 12 Conference and the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators.
Outside of being the official credit card in name and its activations, athletes like Larson regularly participate in meet-and-greets, “surprise and delights,” and content like interviews with women in NASCAR, which provide a differentiated look inside the bank and the sport.
Faulkner said the sports partnerships offer an ability for Credit One Bank to show a different side of a financial institution and gives fans a way to connect to the company they might not otherwise have with a bank.
Larson is also heavily involved in the bank’s efforts for Meeting Street Academy, a charter school in South Carolina.
“They’ve been with [Chip Ganassi Racing] since the beginning and I’m young, so growing with them and together as a brand is great,” Larson said. “It’s been fun; really laid back.”
With the partners, Credit One Bank likes to activate on two sides — one for customers, but two for employees and potential employees. Larson has spent time at the bank’s headquarters in Las Vegas, as has Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland. The partnerships also allow employees to go to races — there are two NASCAR races in Las Vegas — and hockey games.
Attracting employees is a reason the bank is focused on several Las Vegas teams, including the Golden Knights and the Aviators. The Golden Knights gave them a national and local platform simultaneously, Faulkner said.
“We’re growing so fast, we want a local and regional audience of potential employees,” Faulkner said. “Over the last few years, we’ve had some good success and added new sports sponsorships to focus on and enter different parts of the U.S. market.
“Whether it was last year with the Golden Knights, and then this year with a lot of college football, all of these different segments give us different demographics and parts of the country.”