Going for Gold

A Winning Team—Rocco Arcuri, Adirondack Bank president and CEO (far left) with Olympic luge athlete Erin Hamlin and Robert Clark, the bank’s executive vice president.
A Winning Team—Rocco Arcuri, Adirondack Bank president and CEO (far left) with Olympic luge athlete Erin Hamlin and Robert Clark, the bank’s executive vice president.

Adirondack Bank promotes speedy services with Olympic medalist

By Carol Patton

Robert Clark, executive vice president at Adirondack Bank in Utica, N.Y., remembers relaxing at home watching local resident Erin Hamlin on TV race down the luge track at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“I watched her win the bronze medal and thought, ‘Wow, she would be a perfect spokesperson for our bank,’” recalls Clark, explaining that the bank had just launched a new mobile app called ADK On The Go. “She’s world known, yet highly known locally. She can’t walk down the street here without someone recognizing her.”

Fast forward several months. Last month, the $700 million-asset Adirondack Bank announced a long-term partnership with 28-year-old Hamlin who will promote the bank and its products to customers throughout upstate New York. Clark says Hamlin is a natural fit because she is from Remsen, a suburb of Utica, and trains at nearby Lake Placid Olympic Center for six months out of the year. She is also friends with some of the bank’s 175 employees and, along with her family, is a customer.

“We really want her to feel like she’s part of our family, not just a spokesperson.”
—Robert Clark, Adirondack Bank

Racing down a luge track is exactly the image Adirondack Bank wants to associate with its new app—that its mobile banking service is fast to use, Clark says.

Hamlin will appear in electronic and print ads and represent the bank at different events, such as local charity fundraisers. At the World Cup held this month at Lake Placid, the bank is hosting a hospitality tent for its customers, perspective clients and Hamlin’s large family.

In exchange, Adirondack Bank plans to help Hamlin achieve some of her goals, Clark says. “We’re looking to support her on race day,” he says, adding that Hamlin represents the bank’s core values. “We really want her to feel like she’s part of our family, not just a spokesperson.”

Meanwhile, Clark says, partnering with a local celebrity can be an effective marketing strategy for community banks to compete with national or regional banks. “You’ve got to do something to set yourself apart from regional banks,” he offers. “It sounds like spending a lot of money, [but] there’s a high value on brand recognition. You will see that return come in.”


Carol Patton is a freelance writer in Nevada.