Wednesday, Oct 17 2012 05:38 PM

Mission Bank partners with CSUB Athletics

BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer

Cal State Bakersfield Athletics now has an official bank.

Bakersfield-based Mission Bank announced Wednesday that it has received the title in exchange for a year-long financial commitment of undisclosed size.

As part of the deal, the business-focused bank is to get prominent signage on university sports venues including the Icardo Center, Hardt Baseball Field and the Hillman Aquatics Center, as well as season tickets, broadcast spots and space on the Rabobank Arena's video screen at four CSUB home games a year.

People involved with the transaction said it was partly inspired by CSUB's recent acceptance to the Western Athletic Conference starting in 2013.

Mission's corporate sponsorship follows less than a week after the university announced that Dignity Health, operator of more than 30 western U.S. hospitals, including three in Bakersfield, had become a corporate partner of CSUB Athletics. The school said that designation resulted from an annual six-figure gift over a five-year period.

Mission consultant Jim Veach said the bank -- whose advertising up to now has consisted primarily of customer testimonials aired on local radio -- wanted to support a local institution dear to its customers and employees.

"It's more of a hometown type of thing," he said.

CSUB Director of Athletics Jeff Konya stated in a news release that the university is very appreciative of Mission's commitment.

"It will be a mutually beneficial relationship for both entities as we grow together," he wrote.

The sponsorship was brokered by New Jersey-based Nelligan Sports Marketing, a national sales and marketing company that has a team member stationed at CSUB and other universities.

Nelligan's local representative, Jim Darling, said in an email that he has additional "wonderful new sponsors" coming on board soon.

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