Chase, a commercial banking brand of financial giant J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., this week was named the official bank of the Golden State Warriors basketball team, a sponsorship that puts the bank’s mobile payment service into the team’s home stadium, Tearsheet reported. Chase Pay users who visit the Chase Center, which is due to open in 2019, will get access to special loyalty rewards.
Frank Nakano, Chase’s head of sports and entertainment sponsorships, said the Chase Center will provide a way to offer Chase Pay users upgrades, such as better seats, a chance to visit players after the game, access to a special Chase entrance and special VIP-like areas that offer additional discounts.
Chase and the Warriors are promoting the sponsorship by sending a giant golden basketball to different spots in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the season to let fans take pictures, meet players and cheerleaders and get free merchandise and tickets.
Banks like J.P. Morgan Chase will struggle to stay relevant as payments shift to mobile platforms and blockchain technologies that give people greater freedom to manage their money outside of a centralized banking system. With adoption of mobile payments proceeding slowly, Chase needs to demonstrate the usefulness of its payment platform in settings like the Chase Center, where it can offer rewards to loyal users whose purchase transactions are tracked and analyzed. The bank recognizes the power of sports to engage fans and build relationships with upscale customers.
As Chase Pay faces competition from Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and a variety of other banks and transaction processors in the mobile payments space, developing customer loyalty becomes more imperative. The bank sponsored a Forrester Research study that said mobile payments will become more popular if retailers offer some form of value other than point-of-sale convenience.
Chase isn’t the only bank that tries to appeal to customers with special discounts and loyalty points. Citibank has had a partnership with LiveNation and is a sponsor of the Global Citizen music festival. Citibank sees digital channels as becoming more significant to maintaining relationships with customers than through physical branches, Tearsheet reported.