Nationwide flags mutual status in football drive

LONDON - Nationwide is to give away its ticket allocation to international football matches to customers rather than corporate cronies in a campaign highlighting that it is answerable to its customer-owners rather than shareholders.

Under the 'Sponsored by you' campaign, developed by Leagas Delaney, Nationwide claims that it is handing all the benefits of its £30m-plus sponsorship of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland national football teams back to its customers.

The building society will also dish out hospitality packages and signed shirts, and give children the opportunity to be team mascots and meet international players. Customers will further have the chance for their name to appear on the perimeter hoardings at international fixtures, in the official match programme or in TV idents.

It hopes that its mutual status will help it cash in on consumer dissatisfaction with the major banks, most of which posted record profits for 2006.

The drive, backed by press, online and direct mail activity pushing consumers to a dedicated website, is part of a wider brand campaign due to break in July.

Nationwide renewed its England football sponsorship last year in a deal worth £24m.

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