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Marketing a New Sports Venue: The Story of First Tennessee Park

  • City Winery 609 Lafayette Street Nashville, TN, 37203 United States (map)

Join AMA Nashville for our next power luncheon on April 4th at 11:00am at City Winery!

It’s not every day that a company buys the naming rights to a major sports venue. It’s an opportunity that comes along maybe once a decade.

In this presentation, Carol Yochem, President-Middle Tennessee Region for First Tennessee Bank, will share why the bank decided to buy the naming rights to First Tennessee Park, what that decision has meant to the bank in terms of brand awareness and community relations, how this opportunity was a highly aligned fit for First Tennessee and how the bank made the most of the naming decision through coordinated marketing, community relations and employee engagement.

The largest bank based in Tennessee, First Tennessee Bank is #1 in market share in every major market in the state except Nashville. Carol Yochem was named President – Middle Tennessee of First Tennessee Bank four years ago with a mandate to double the size of the bank in this market within five years. Increasing brand awareness was a part of the success equation.

She and her team did it in four years. Nashville has become the model for how First Tennessee grows market share in cities where it is not already the leader.

A lot went into achieving this success, but when it came to raising awareness of the First Tennessee brand in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, nothing came close to the decision to purchase the naming rights to the new home of the Nashville Sounds – First Tennessee Park – a decision that was made shortly after Carol was named president of this market.

In her presentation, Carol will share:

• The rationale behind purchasing the naming rights to First Tennessee Park.
• The many ways in which this decision has closely connected First Tennessee to the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community.
• How First Tennessee Park has bolstered the bank’s overall brand in this market.
• Why this opportunity was practically tailormade for First Tennessee – and why taking advantage of it might not have made sense for other companies.
• How First Tennessee activated its naming rights through using First Tennessee Park’s assets, the media, employee engagement, community relations, customer communications and charitable partnerships.
• What’s on tap, marketing-wise, for the fifth season of First Tennessee Park that opens April 4th.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to get an inside look at an immensely powerful marketing tool that most marketing professionals can only dream about: putting your organization’s brand on a major sports venue.


Carol Yochem is President of First Tennessee Bank in Middle Tennessee and has more than 30 years of banking experience. She oversees a combined loan & deposit portfolio of more than $9 billion and is proud to lead a team of nearly 600 employees who, through their hard work and commitment, have doubled the size of the bank in this region in the last 4 years.

First Tennessee’s success in Middle Tennessee under Carol’s leadership is an example of the “growth” theme that has defined her career. Prior to coming to Nashville to accept her current position with First Tennessee, she was executive vice president and head of the wealth management business line for First-Citizens Bank & Trust in Raleigh, NC. Prior to that Carol spent 18 years at SunTrust Bank leading commercial, corporate, and private client divisions in both Memphis and Nashville. She was integral to the start and growth of SunTrust’s first Memphis office growing it from scratch to over $600M.

She began her career with the same bank she helps lead today, joining First Tennessee’s management training program at its headquarters in Memphis soon after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The excellent training program, which rotated her through many departments in the bank, was the foundation for a career working with teams who build better banks.

Carol serves on a number of boards or committees where she is significantly engaged and making contributions benefiting the Middle Tennessee community. She is board chair of the Nashville Downtown Partnership, a member of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce board of directors and a leadership cabinet member of Partnership 2020, a member of YMCA of Middle Tennessee board of directors, an Andrew Jackson Foundation Board Trustee, alumnae of Leadership Nashville, and past Cheekwood Board Trustee.

Note: Parking is included in the price of your ticket. Parking attendants will guide you to an on-site, self-park spot at City Winery until on-site self-park spots are filled.  A valet will park your car (free) after on-site City Winery spots are full. Follow the signs near Lafayette Street. SP+ parking lot adjacent to City Winery is NOT free.

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