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Super Bowl champs find a new sponsor

Ohio-based bank signs on as sponsor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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  • | 12:00 p.m. August 19, 2021
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LOUIS LLOVIO: Banks gets naming rights to the stadium's main gate in sponsorship deal with Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
LOUIS LLOVIO: Banks gets naming rights to the stadium's main gate in sponsorship deal with Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Finding room on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bandwagon is getting tough. The more the team wins, the more people realize they were lifelong fans all along.

But Fifth Third Bank has managed to find a prominent seat and got it the old-fashioned way: it spent some money.

The Cincinnati-based bank has signed on to become one of the lead sponsors of the team, taking on the role of the Bucs' official bank.

The team didn’t respond to questions about how long the partnership was for or how much Fifth Third paid. And the bank’s vice president of regional marketing, Melanie Chako, in an email, says “we are not able to disclose the terms.”

Whatever the cost, chances are it was much more than the jerseys and hats fans spend before jumping on the bandwagon. Corporations, after all, spent more than $1.47 billion on sponsorships last season, according to IEG, a firm that specializes in sports sponsorships and valuations.  

So what does Fifth Third get for its sponsorship dollars?

For one, the largest and most visible entrances to the stadium, Gate D on the south side, has been rechristened the Fifth Third Bank Gate and features signage and branding wherever your eyes travel. Then there is the Fifth Third Lounge which is near the team’s tunnel and, according to a press release, gives fans “an unmatched view of players as they prepare to hit the field.” This, the release says, means “a new and exclusive pregame experience, including pregame sideline access.”

Also part of the sponsorship, according to the release, is branding on the Buccaneers app, a regular-season game takeover, in-stadium signage and hospitality opportunities.

If you were at the stadium for the Aug. 14 preseason game, you saw from the signage already up that Fifth Third was making its presence known. The game, fittingly enough, was against the bank's hometown Cincinnati Bengals, a team whose bandwagon has been parked in a garage somewhere near downtown gathering dust since its last Super Bowl appearance in January 1989. 

First Third Bank was founded in 1858. As of June 30, it had $483 billion in assets under care and has 152 branches in Florida, including about 70 between Tampa Bay and Naples.


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