The Buffalo Bills announced today a new agreement with M&T Bank - creating the new M&T Family Zone in Ralph Wilson Stadium - as part of a 5-year renewal of the "Official Bank of the Buffalo Bills" sponsorship agreement.
The 500-seat Section 105 within Ralph Wilson Stadium has been converted into the M&T Family Zone, creating a fun family environment on gameday featuring visits by Billy Buffalo and a free giveaway to all fans in the section. Fans in this section will also have the option of purchasing parking in a specially designated 50-space parking lot off Abbott Road, adjacent to a convenient, newly designed entry gate serving the M&T Family Zone.
"The Buffalo Bills are thrilled to announce the continuation our longstanding partnership with M&T Bank" said Russ Brandon, Bills President and CEO. "With the extension of this partnership we will continue to grow and enhance our community engagement which includes improving the fan experience on gamedays thus showcasing our collective commitment to making this region a better place to live."
M&T Bank, Buffalo's largest publicly traded company, has signed a five-year sponsorship extension as the "Official Bank of the Buffalo Bills." M&T, a Bills marketing partner since 1985, is the exclusive financial services partner at Ralph Wilson Stadium (RWS) and at Bills training camp, and the only bank permitted to use the Bills trademark on Buffalo Bills debit cards. Another term of the deal ensures the enclosed, climate-controlled seating area in the southeast corner of RWS will continue to be named the "M&T Club" for the next five years.
"The success and future of the Bills is important to fans across Western New York and we see many great reasons to renew our sponsorship with the team for five more years. This partnership allows M&T to bring some exclusive offers to our own customers and new opportunities, such as the M&T Family Zone, to the team's passionate fans," said Peter Eliopoulos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for M&T Bank.
In addition to creating the new M&T Family Zone, the bank will cooperate with the Bills on other community initiatives including:* *
**Touchdown for Teachers Contest
The Touchdown for Teachers program recognizes local teachers for their outstanding service to their schools and communities. Five nominated finalists are chosen based on their involvement in the school or community, degree of positive impact and their demonstrated commitment to education with one grand prize winner receiving a grant and a player visit for his or her school. During the last 5 years, more than 1,000 regional teachers have been nominated and 31 have been honored as finalists.
A recent grand prize winner was third-grade teacher Patrick Wirth of Union Pleasant Elementary School in Hamburg, who received a $1,000 classroom grant and a school visit by Bills defensive end Mario Williams.* *
Gift of Warmth Collection
This year, the Bills and M&T Bank will celebrate their 30th anniversary of collecting winter outerwear and cash donations for the Salvation Army through the Gift of Warmth campaign. This year's Gift of Warmth celebration will occur at Ralph Wilson Stadium before the November 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.* *
Bills fans and Western New York residents have donated 11,360 items of winter outerwear, along with more than $12,000 in cash, in total to support the Gift of Warmth over the last five years.* *
Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Ticket Donation
Twenty tickets will be donated to the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood (BPN) for parents and children participating in BPN's Parent Achievement Zone program to sit within the M&T Bank Family Zone during the Kid's Day preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, August 23. Another 40 tickets will be donated to BPN for the final preseason game on August 28.
Buffalo Promise Neighborhood is a unique public/private partnership seeking to revitalize a northeast Buffalo community and provide children and families with a pipeline of cradle-to-career solutions supporting academic achievement, healthy development and neighborhood stability. Since 2010, the organization has secured over $32 million in commitments to the community through a wide range of public and private partners. Further information is available at www.buffalopromiseneighborhood.org.
Additionally, M&T has recently extended its marketing relationship with Bills running back Fred Jackson and launched a new series of online videos, "Through Fred's Eyes," giving fans behind-the-scenes look at how he prepares for the season. The series runs every Thursday through September 18, 2014. Fans can view the videos on M&T Bank's My Bills Card Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MyBillsCard.
M&T Bank, founded in 1856, is one of the top 20 largest U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with approximately $90 billion in assets. M&T Bank operates more than 700 branches and 1,500 ATM's in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.