As Fifth Third Bank was rolling out its new campaign for Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), Jose Pena received the unfortunate news that one of the Florida region’s banking center managers was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
“We were heartbroken,” said Pena, senior vice president and Florida regional director for retail at Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB). “She’s an advocate for the support of cancer research and has inspired me and all of our teammates to join her in the fight.”
Pena has also dealt with cancer closer to home. Six years ago, his wife, Edith, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Since having the diseased thyroid gland and connected lobes removed, she’s been cancer-free, and remains a staunch supporter of Fifth Third’s efforts to raise awareness of the disease.
“Like me, many team members have experienced cancer in some form – themselves or a loved one – and for the same reason, cancer really resonated with employees and customers,” he said.
Fifth Third Bank recently launched its third campaign for SU2C, a charitable program of the non-profit Entertainment Industry Foundation tasked with raising money to accelerate innovative cancer research, enabling scientific collaboration to quickly connect new therapies to cancer patients.
A $142 billion bank headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fifth Third Bank has raised more than $4.2 million for SU2C. The latest campaign launched July 27 and runs through Oct. 17.
When customers open a new Essential Checking Account with $150, with direct deposit and three online bill payments made, Fifth Third Bank will donate $150 to SU2C. The bank will also donate $1 to SU2C when people share eligible posts using the #howifight hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine, up to $100,000 during the campaign.
The promotion, at 53.com/howifight, follows the national trend of companies giving customers a variety of ways to give back to the community as they shop or conduct business.
“With cancer impacting so many, we asked ourselves, ‘Could a bank help in the fight against this disease?’” noted Maria Veltre, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Fifth Third Bank. “That was more than two years ago, and we’ve proven since that we can make a difference with the help of our customers, employees and members of our communities, and we’re now leveraging the power of celebrity with (actor and cancer advocate) Patrick Dempsey. With this campaign, we want to highlight all the ways that we help fight (cancer) every day.”
A $50 minimum deposit is required to open all accounts and obtain the $150 bonus. All requirements must be met and qualifying activity must be initiated and post to the account within 90 days of account opening. The bonus will be deposited into the new account within six weeks of completing requirements, and may be taxable as interest income and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. The offer is limited to one bonus per account per household.
Fifth Third began working with SU2C in 2013 when the bank rolled out exclusive SU2C credit and debit cards, which generate donations to SU2C for every qualifying purchase made using those cards. Fifth Third Bank is the only card issuer to offer the SU2C payment cards.
“Through this campaign, Fifth Third has made an everyday necessity a more meaningful experience for their customer by supporting Stand Up To Cancer’s innovative cancer research,” said Rusty Robertson, co-founder of the organization, pointing out the dismal national statistics: one in two men and one in three women will be directly affected by cancer in their lifetime, according to statistics collected by the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program at the National Cancer Institute. “We’re humbled by the incredible engagement this campaign has received from Fifth Third customers, and honored to continue this collaboration.”
SU2C was founded in 2008 on the belief that everyone can make a difference in the fight against cancer, Robertson pointed out.
“We’re profoundly grateful to each and every donor, of any level,” said Robertson.
Celebrity Patrick Dempsey will lend his image to Fifth Third’s new SU2C Campaign this year. He will be featured in a Fifth Third Bank and SU2C spot highlighting ways people can fight cancer.
As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Fifth Third Bank: https://www.53.com/
American Association for Cancer Research: http://www.aacr.org/Pages/Home.aspx
Entertainment Industry Foundation: http://eifoundation.org/
Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C): http://www.standup2cancer.org/