SAN DIEGO-Over the holidays one credit union was involved in one of the largest community support and branding opportunities anywhere in the country.

For the eighth year in a row, local and national attention was focused for several weeks on the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, a college bowl game broadcast nationally on ESPN. In the most recent rendition the BYU Cougars defeated the hometown San Diego State Aztecs before a crowd of more than 40,000.

"Since the inception of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, a combined $67.9 million of revenue has been infused into the local economy, all happening during a week when the region's tourism industry is at the slowest time of the year," the credit union said in a statement.

While the game gets most of the national attention, it features a number of local tie-ins in the days leading up to kick off. The bands from both schools participate in a parade in downtown's Gaslamp District before "battling" at the intersection of Fifth and Market Streets. The next days the two bands battled again onboard the USS Midway, the retired aircraft carrier that is now a museum. At a luncheon featuring both teams, area dignitaries, the teams' head coaches and SDCCU CEO Teresa Halleck all offer comment.

Throughout, the credit union's name appears on signage and in local media. At the game itself, on the concourse outside Qualcomm Stadium, the credit union has a booth where it stages a "cash grab" game.

Since 2005, when SDCCU began sponsoring the game, it has featured a charity beneficiary, with one dollar of every admission ticket sold going to the San Diego Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year sales raised $41,000 for the charity.

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