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WSFS signs partnership with Philadelphia Union

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WSFS Bank, headquartered in downtown Wilmington, announced Thursday that it has signed a partnership deal with the Philadelphia Union. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMGINTON – WSFS Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Delaware, has signed a partnership agreement with the Philadelphia Union, marking the bank’s first major sports deal in its more than century-long history.

The terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed in a Thursday announcement, but it will make WSFS Bank the official bank partner and community supporter of the professional soccer team and its home Subaru Park in Chester, Pa.

The Union previously signed a multi-year partnership in 2015 with Fort Washington, Pa.-based TruMark Financial Credit Union that has apparently expired.

“We are thrilled to become the official bank of the Philadelphia Union. The Union has been one of the most successful teams in Major League Soccer in recent years and their on-field success is mirrored, if not exceeded by, their community support off the field. Our shared commitment to creating opportunities for our communities to thrive makes this an ideal partnership,” said Justin Dunn, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of WSFS Bank, in a statement announcing the deal. “We know the power that sponsoring a major hometown sports team can offer a brand and we look forward to offering fans some special items like a co-branded debit card.”

Banks are no strangers to such corporate partnerships, as JPMorgan Chase holds the naming rights to the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington while Citizens Bank and Wells Fargo Bank hold the naming rights to the Philadelphia Phillies ballpark and Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers stadium, respectively. The move highlights WSFS’ recent strategy to become a bigger player in the greater Philadelphia market though, and partnering with a successful sports team can help advance those marketing efforts.

The ties that bind the two partners together also have a decidedly Delaware base, as prolific Wilmington developers Chris Buccini, Rob Buccini  and Dave Pollin of Buccini/Pollin Group are minority owners of the Philadelphia Union. BPG’s construction firm also built WSFS’ current headquarters in downtown Wilmington.

In signing the partnership deal, WSFS and the Union agreed to work on gameday events, fan engagement opportunities and community programs that will be announced later. For now, the bank will sponsor a variety of upcoming events, including a back-to-school backpack giveaway in Chester, a Juneteenth celebration next year, community ticket donations and National Women’s Month activities.

“WSFS’ mission of We Stand For Service and their commitment to the community aligns with the Philadelphia Union’s goals and core pillars,” said Tim McDermott, president of the Union, in a statement. “We’re excited about the legacy we can build together with WSFS, making a true difference in our community.”

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