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Provident turns a Griffey double play

Provident turns a Griffey double play

GEERT DE LOMBAERDE

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Ken Griffey Jr. has teamed with his father to sign a seven-year contract to pitch Provident Financial Group Inc., the center fielder's first local endorsement deal since returning to Cincinnati this year.

Financial details were not available, but the contract was projected to be worth $1 million annually for Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Sr., part of Cincinnati's powerhouse teams of the 1970s and now a Reds coach, is expected to make less.

The father-and-son team will pitch Provident products on TV, radio and in both Cinergy Field and Paul Brown Stadium beginning this fall. They also will represent the bank during the winter off-season, possibly extending their name to other business lines, including Provident Financial Advisors, the bank's money-management arm.

Provident, the second-largest bank based in Cincinnati, has made the area's major league sports teams the focus of its recent advertising. In the past year, it has signed deals with the Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals to become their official bank.

The deal comes after an agreement with Cincinnati Bengals hall of famer Anthony Muñoz signed late last month.

"It's obvious [the Griffeys] don't come cheap, but it made marketing sense and business sense," said Forrest Wallace, Provident's senior vice president and marketing director. "One of the ways to [build a brand] is to take solid people that can be recognized ... and make them happy."

Geert De Lombaerde writes for the Business Courier in Cincinnati.

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