NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 14, 2006--Beginning today, fans
will have the opportunity to sign up for the ESPN Total Access(TM)
Visa(R) card -- the most comprehensive affinity credit card for sports
fans ever. The card allows fans to earn rewards tied to their
enthusiasm for sports, and provides unique access to a wide range of
sporting events and VIP experiences that only ESPN can provide
"The ESPN Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card offers unparalleled
rewards for fans who are hoping to get closer to their favorite sports
and gain insiders' access to sporting events," said Rick Alessandri,
senior vice president, ESPN Consumer Products. "And fans can enjoy
this card without having to give up the traditional rewards programs
that they are accustomed to, like travel rewards and gift cards to
leading retailers, because this card offers those options as well."
The ESPN Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card, issued exclusively by
Washington Mutual (WaMu), gives fans the opportunity to:
-- Get unprecedented VIP and game-day access. Through the ESPN
Total Access(TM) Rewards Program, earn insider access to a
wide range of sports experiences, from local games to the most
sought after sporting events around, including pro
championships and all-star games for football, baseball,
basketball, golf, tennis, racing, poker and horse-racing.
-- Plan the ultimate sports getaway. With the card's ESPN Sports
Concierge Service(TM), cardholders can plan travel to their
favorite sports events and earn and redeem points to attend
the ESPY Awards Show, World Series of Poker, and more.
-- Earn sports merchandise and collectibles as well as
traditional travel, dining and retail rewards.
Fans making purchases with the ESPN Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card
will receive five points for every dollar spent on purchases made from
ESPN and one point for every dollar spent anywhere else.
Other ESPN Total Access(TM) Rewards include:
-- Access to ESPN The Magazine's NEXT Big Weekend event at the
pro football championship host city, pre-draft parties, and a
behind-the-scenes look at ESPN from the studios in Bristol,
-- VIP Access to the X Games
-- Gift certificates to ESPN Zone and ESPNShop.com
-- Instruction at ESPN Golf Schools
-- The opportunity to host your own private party at ESPN Zone
-- The opportunity to drive a race car on a championship track
In addition to offering a best-in-class rewards program, the ESPN
Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card available from WaMu has competitive
rates and no annual fee.
"The ESPN Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card brings us together with
the number one sports multimedia company in the world to provide
consumers with a great sports affinity card," said Warren Wilcox,
senior vice president of Marketing for Washington Mutual.
To celebrate the launch of the ESPN Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card,
fans may apply for the card and be automatically entered into the ESPN
Total Access(TM) Visa(R) card "Make Your Picks" Sweepstakes by going
to www.ESPNMakeYourPicks.com. Fans with a Mobile ESPN phone can simply
text "TA" to 43776 to be entered.
One grand prize winner will choose his or her top five ESPN
prizes, including travel, lodging and transportation, featuring total
access to all the chosen experiences. Some of the prizes include VIP
access to the 2007 ESPY Awards Show and ESPN-hosted parties; Winter X
Games in Aspen; $1000 shopping spree on ESPNShop.com; and more.
Fans may enter the sweepstakes from Sept. 14, 2006, to Jan. 31,
2007. Winners will be notified in late February. No purchase necessary
to enter. Fans may visit www.ESPNMakeYourPicks.com for complete
To learn more about or apply for the ESPN Total Access(TM) Visa(R)
card, which features no annual fee and competitive rates, fans may
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports
entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia
sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television
networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU,
ESPN Today), ESPN and ESPN2 HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional
Television, ESPN International (networks, syndication, radio, web
sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises,
ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new
businesses including ESPN360 (Broadband), Mobile ESPN, ESPN on Demand,
ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80
percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The
Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent
interest in ESPN.
About Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM), through its subsidiaries, is one of
the nation's leading consumer and small business banks. As of June 30,
2006, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $350.70
billion. The company has a history dating back to 1889 and its
subsidiary banks currently operate more than 2,600 consumer and small
business banking stores throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's
press releases are available at http://newsroom.wamu.com.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment
system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business
customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet
their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice,
convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all
stakeholders in the payment system -- members, cardholders and
merchants. Through its 13,432 member financial institutions, more than
510 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the
United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on
Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.6 trillion in
transactions with unparalleled reliability. Worldwide, cardholders in
more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards,
accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.
Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and
mobilize financial resources -- anytime, anywhere, anyway.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Shane Winn, 312-429-3052
Rob Tobias, 860-766-2240
Ashley Huston, 646-281-1595
SOURCE: Washington Mutual & ESPN, Inc.