Ballsy students endorsed by First USA Bank

NEW JERSEY: Two New Jersey youths wound up on the couch with Katie

Couric last week to announce the corporate sponsorship of their college

tuition by First USA Bank. Chris Barrett and Luke McCabe are the first

students to enter into such an endorsement deal without being

athletes.



First USA has contracted Barrett and McCabe for $40,000 each (the

cost of tuition and housing) to promote the bank on the Pepperdine and

USC campuses, respectively. They will speak about fiscal responsibility

to classmates and promote other programs currently under

development.



The bank was one of several potential companies considered by Barrett

and McCabe after they publicized their availability for sponsorships

through the Web site chrisandluke.com. The two created the concept when

they visited the college campuses and saw corporate names on buildings.

They determined that they could bring more value to such companies by

being active campus spokesmen.



First USA has already gained an enormous push from the novel idea. The

young men not only scored the coveted Today show appearance, but

articles in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as live

interviews on CNN and with worldwide media in Israel, Australia, and

South Africa.



Neither Barrett, McCabe, nor publicist Karen Ammond of KBC Media

Relations were permitted to speak with PRWeek due to a First USA Bank

policy against interviews with PR trade publications.



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