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Little League Sponsor Bank of America Earns National Recognition

Bank of America, a national Little League sponsor, has emerged into this country’s first true coast-to-coast bank, earning the recognition as the 2006 MediaPost’s Financial Services Marketer of the Year.

It continued to aggressively pursue strategic acquisitions (MBNA and U.S. Trust), develop new products (Keep the Change, Business 24/7), reward customer loyalty ($0 equity trades for accounts with $25,000 or more), and raise its profile both nationally and locally (NASCAR sponsorship).

In December, it temporarily vaulted past Citigroup to be the biggest U.S. bank based on market value.

The trademark cheery red BofA are seen in almost every major market, and at a growing number of cultural, sporting, and community events running the gamut from Carnegie Hall to NASCAR.

The Keep the Change savings program – one of the most successful new-product launches in banking history – allows customers who enroll to round up debit card purchases to the next whole dollar. The difference is transferred from checking to savings at the end of each day, and the bank matches a portion. By November, some 3 million customers had signed on and saved more than $200 million.

BofA leveraged that program into a community-oriented PR bonanza, linking its support of Little League Baseball and Softball with a matching program. Five percent of all Keep the Change transfers made from June 27 to Aug. 26 was given to the Little League Urban Initiative to spruce up baseball fields in urban areas.

BofA maintained a steady presence online, on air, and in print of mostly product-specific ads that emphasized its “Higher Standards” tagline that dates back to its buyout by Nation’s Bank in 1998. Some TV spots sought to promote BofA’s philanthropic initiatives and its ties to local causes.

Bank of America is determined to become a “destination” brand, seeking to be the single financial source for consumers, businesses, and communities regardless of personal objectives, net worth, or investment strategy.