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How Chase flexes marketing muscle for auto partners

When it comes to maximizing marketing spend, auto lenders want to be conspicuous. How can they ensure their messaging sticks with potential car buyers?

Many banks and captive lenders have creative approaches and partnerships to market their business. But Chase Auto Finance has marketing muscle -- tremendous branding power and marketing real estate as part of a financial services colossus with $2.5 trillion in assets -- that sets it apart.

Chase's private-label relationships with automakers began in 2001 with Subaru, and have grown to include Mazda in 2008, Jaguar Land Rover in 2009 and Maserati in 2016.

Every day, 1.5 million people see Subaru's soon-to-be-launched Ascent three-row crossover beaming down from a Chase-owned digital billboard in Times Square.

"We can deploy -- and we do deploy -- these assets on a case-by-case basis" for automaker partners, Jagdeep Dayal, who runs Chase Auto Finance's private label business, told Automotive News.

On social media, Chase posts images and stories tethered to its partners, though using Chase.com is one of the strongest platforms at its disposal.

"It becomes sort of one seamless process where we're making the Chase.com site available to our partners -- on a selective basis -- when it is the right message at the right time to the right customer," Dayal said. The lender sends email offers on behalf of its automotive partners to banking customers and extends exclusive discounts to private clients.

As of this year's first quarter, Chase.com has 47.9 million active online customers that roll through automaker content while visiting the site.

The bank also hosts and runs servicing websites for all private-label partners. From the website, Chase directs customers toward its automaker partners' content, connects them with dealers and helps them get financing.

Showcasing its assets is nothing new for the company. Chase reaps the rewards of its investments nearly every night of the year through its partnership with Madison Square Garden Co. The Chase name is splashed across venues including Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Chicago Theatre and the Forum in Los Angeles.

Though these spaces aren't meant for automaker partners, the branding presence is positive.

When Chase secured naming rights to the Golden State Warriors' San Francisco arena in 2016, it was among the largest stadium deals of the time. The 18,000-seat Chase Center is to open for the 2019-20 NBA season, and will host concerts and other live events.

Chase Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks' stadium, was the first naming-rights agreement the finance company engaged in with a sports team, and since 1982, Chase has been a chief sponsor of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship.

Tapping the car-buying potential of large groups of customers that are likely eligible for an auto loan or lease is a smart move for a lender with so many business units. Especially as large and small automakers seek captivelike partnerships, Chase is wise to take advantage of the depth of its brand and customer base.

You can reach Jackie Charniga at jcharniga@crain.com -- Follow Jackie on Twitter: @jccharniga

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