Bank of America customers have opened tens of thousands of Olympic-themed accounts supporting the U.S. team, a bank spokesman says.
The bank donates a portion of money to the U.S. team's training program when customers open an account or make transactions with one of the bank's Olympic-themed checks, credit cards or debit cards. The program was launched in April.
“The U.S. Olympic team is a part of the American consumers identity,” said Joe Goode, a spokesman for the Charlotte-based bank. “Leading up to the games and during the games fans' desires to connect with the team is almost limitless.” The bank does not yet know how much money has been donated to the training program, Goode said.
The bank will continue the program even after the Olympics are over.
It is a way for customers to continue supporting the Olympic team, Goode said. Users of the bank's U.S. Olympic team credit card can earn points toward travel, hotels and Olympic memorabile, like a softball glove signed by U.S. Olympic athlete Jennie Finch.
Bank of America has been an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team since 1992 and is considered a partner company – the highest level of domestic partnership. Other partners include General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, and AT&T.
The bank launched its interactive website, America's Cheers, last spring. Olympic fans can post photos, videos, and messages supporting the U.S. team on the site. As of Wednesday afternoon, the website had more than 6,500 posts.
The bank also opened a family center in Beijing for U.S. athletes and their family members, providing them with complementary meals and game tickets and access to phones and computers. The bank estimates that the center could save families more than $1,700 a week, Goode said.