Seattle-based banking company WaMu (formerly Washington Mutual) is expanding its presence in the live music business with WaMu Live!, a new program that gives customers exclusive benefits to concerts at venues in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and San Francisco.

As part of the WaMu Live! program, which launches today (July 26), bank customers who flash a WaMu credit, ATM or home equity card at select venues will have access to onsite VIP lounges, designated parking, special entrance and concession lines, concert e-mail alerts and online ticketing via WaMulive.com.

"It's about the full experience from start to finish," Jane Zalutsky, first VP of experiential marketing at WaMu, tells Billboard.biz. "[WaMu customers] will have a unique perspective on the show right from the beginning."

In addition to Seattle's WaMu Theater at Qwest Field and New York's WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden (which have multi-year naming rights deals with the bank), Los Angeles' Greek Theatre and Hollywood Bowl, Mountain View, Calif.'s Shoreline Amphitheatre and Irvine, Calif.'s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater have signed on as participating venues. Financial terms and lengths of the contracts were not disclosed.

Rena Wasserman, GM at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, says she and venue operator Nederlander Concerts are looking forward to the new partnership. "We are selective in who we partner with at the Greek," Wasserman tells Billboard.biz. "It is clear that WaMu maximizes the activation of its corporate partnerships with creative platforms that benefit the venues and increase the artist and fan experience."

As a benefit to the venues, Zalutsky, a former exec at Seattle nonprofit One Reel, says, "We're helping spread their marketing message. I think we'll have an impact on driving people to the venue. If they have a special experience, they're more likely to want to go back."

Along with onsite WaMu ATMs, participating venues will offer customers lounges, ranging from beer gardens to swanky areas with couches and food catering. "It's an area where customers can go exclusively and hang out," a WaMu spokesperson says. "And if they have a friend or two, they can bring them in."

Additionally, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Shoreline Amphitheatre and WaMu Theater at Qwest Field will provide customers with preferred parking. "People still have to pay for the parking," Zalutsky says, "but they get a preferred location." Designated concession lines will be offered at the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre and WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Select locations will also offer photo studios, where concertgoers can take pictures with friends. The photos can later be downloaded for free at WaMulive.com. Along with that, customers who log onto the site with their WaMu card numbers will be given access to advance ticket sales for select shows.

Along with WaMu signage at each venue, bank representatives will be present at concerts. "They'll be there to talk about the company and give people information," Zalutsky explains. "But we're not there for a hard sell. We're there for people to have a good time and enjoy their experience of being at the concert and being with the bank."

WaMu Live! will have a presence during all concerts at participating venues, but only for select events at the Hollywood Bowl, according to Zalutsky.

Since first attaching its moniker to Seattle's approximately 7,000-seat WaMu Theater at Qwest Field in 2006, the banking company has aggressively put its stamp on the concert biz. In May, WaMu entered into a multi-year deal with New York's Theater at Madison Square Garden. The company has also sponsored more than 40 music events around the country, including the Jones Beach summer concert series in New York.

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