West Bank has signed Michelle to represent the company
in marketing efforts. Michelle will appear in future media
campaigns and will also be a visible presence in community
efforts where East West Bank has locations.
According to the
press release, East West Bank is "one of the nation's
premier community banks and a leading institution focused
on Chinese American and other niche markets." There are
49 banks throughout California, including Los Angeles, Orange,
San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties.
Dominic Ng, Chairman
President and CEO of East West Bank, said, "Michelle Kwan
represents the best of East and West and we are honored to
be her organization of choice for this important partnership
and we welcome her to our family. We believe the communities
we serve will value our relationship with Michelle. She and
East West Bank strive for excellence and reflect the same
high values and standards as we pursue our goals - this is
a perfect match."
About the new partnership,
Michelle said, "I see in East West Bank the same values that
I cherish and have been taught by my own family. I come from
a Chinese-American family. My parents arrived here with nothing,
and through hard work and determination they made a life for
themselves. They taught me the importance of setting goals,
staying focused and working to be the very best. East West
Bank has followed the same path to success and is an institution
I respect and am proud to represent."
of the deal were not released.
It appears as if
this new deal also affects the rink that Michelle has built
in Artesia, California. The name of the rink changed from
"Artesia Ice Palace", to "East West Ice Palace."
In the June 6,
2005 edition of Sing Tao Daily, a Chinese newspaper, there
was an ad for the bank, which contained 2 pictures of Michelle.
In June 2005, the
bank had a billboard with a picture of Michelle on the freeway
In June 2005, Michelle
does a radio commercial in the LA area for the bank where
she talks about excellence.
The bank now has a Michelle's "Excellence Club!"
Members receive an East West Ice Palace skating ticket, a
fleece blanket, Michelle Kwan checks, a Michelle savings account
passbook, a Michelle debit card, a Michelle poster, and a
2006 Michelle wall calendar. To qualify, you must have one
12 month CD account with a $10,000 opening balance in addition
to an EastWest checking or saving account.
In July 2005, a TV commercial with Michelle starts airing.
It has aired in California on several ethnic channels. The
commercial is mostly in Chinese, with a voice over of Michelle
(or someone talking for Michelle, lol, not sure!) in English,
with lots of clips of Michelle skating on COI. The ad shows
everything you receive by being a member of Michelle's Excellence
Club at the bank. The clip also shows a huge poster of Michelle
at one of the East West Bank branches, with the caption "Welcome
to my bank!" Later, the bank also aired an English version of this commercial.
In an article in the January 25, 2006 edition of the LA Times about Michelle's test skate to qualify for the Olymipcs, the Chairman of East West Bank, Dominic Ng, said that no matter how she fared in her test skate, she has already won his heart and support. He said that he has followed her career since she was 12. His niece, Susan Ng, competed at the junior level and trained with Frank Carroll. He said, "This sport is so hard. That's why I admire people like Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen. It's not about sponsors. Everybody thinks it's about money and sponsors. I hope that she is healthy and can step on the ice rink one more time and does the best she can. If she got lucky and wins a medal, wouldn't that be the best thing that ever happened in sports?"
East West Bank gave out "The Official NBC Olympics Viewer's Guide" before and during the 2006 Olympics. It has several pictures of Michelle in the guide, including an ad for the bank.
Update! East West Bank put out a full page ad in support of Michelle in the Thursday, March 2, 2006, Valley edition of the LA Times. The ad contains a picture of Michelle doing a spiral, and says, "She'll always be our champion, on the ice and off. Michelle Kwan is not only the most decorated skater in U.S. history, she will forever be known for her courage, integrity and grace. She is a true champion in every sense of the word. At East West Bank we are honored to have her as our spokesperson."
East West Bank has an essay contest for students in grades 2-12, where all entrants get a copy of Michelle's autobiography, and the winner gets to meet Michelle! The full page newspaper ad for the contest contains a picture of Michelle, and has appeared in both Chinese and English newspapers.