Mar 17, 2010 at 04:33 PM
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Capital One Becomes Exclusive Credit Card and Retail Bank of NCAA

Capital One has reached an agreement with CBS Sports to become an NCAA Official Corporate Champion, the highest partnership marketing level offered by the NCAA. The multi-year agreement includes exclusive credit card and retail banking category marketing and promotional rights around the NCAA's 88 Divisions I, II and III men's and women's championship events throughout the year.

"Strengthening our involvement in college athletics further showcases our commitment to the fans and student-athletes who make college sports so special," said Bill McDonald, Chief Marketing Officer at Capital One. "The popularity and passion for collegiate athletics is unparalleled and we look forward to using this integrated partnership with the NCAA and CBS Sports to help bring fans closer to the NCAA's 23 sports and the Capital One brand."

Capital One is activating the partnership this month with the launch of a NCAA-basketball themed online viral video campaign called "The Ivan Brothers -- Big Men on Campus."

The company also will present the Capital One NCAA Champions Zone as part of this year's NCAA Men's Final Four onsite fan experience at the Indianapolis Convention Center. This interactive area offers fans the chance to learn more about the various NCAA sports championships through hands-on drills and challenges.

"The addition of Capital One as our third corporate champion, along with AT&T and Coca-Cola, furthers the NCAA's mission to partner with influential industry leaders that are passionate about both supporting and creating programs that foster educational and athletics opportunities for students," said Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. "We look forward to working with Capital One and sharing its commitment to advancing the popularity and reach of intercollegiate athletics."

"CBS Sports is proud to have a company with Capital One's brand recognition and sports marketing experience join our exclusive NCAA corporate marketing family," said Chris Simko Sr., Vice President, Sports Sales and Marketing, CBS. "Throughout the life of the partnership, we will be working closely with Capital One to develop unique and integrated activation platforms that further connect fans to their favorite college sports and NCAA championship."

The NCAA partnership, which Capital One says is it's largest sports venture to date builds on the company's affiliation with college football. Capital One acquired the title sponsorship to the Capital One Bowl in 2001 and Capital One Bowl Week on ESPN. In addition, Capital One holds an annual Mascot Challenge, which crowns a Mascot of the Year as determined by fan voting.