Cleveland Convention Center Receives Naming Rights

October 29, 2015

Cuyahoga County and FirstMerit Bank to partner on the Naming Rights for Cleveland Convention Center.

CLEVELAND (Sept. 21, 2015) - Cuyahoga County Executive, Armond Budish, has submitted legislation to County Council to partner with FirstMerit Corporation (Nasdaq: FMER) for naming rights for the Cleveland Convention Center. County Council will consider the proposal at their regular meeting tomorrow. It would mark the first naming rights partner for the Cleveland Convention Center since opening in 2013. The new Center would be called the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland.

The 20-year agreement would involve updated building signage to reflect the new name as well as FirstMerit ATMs located inside both the convention center and the Center for Global Health Innovation. During the term, the name will be used in all press releases, promotions, advertising and other written and print materials. A new logo will be placed on all uniforms, badges, letterhead, event credentials, collateral and similar materials.

Terms of the agreement will be finalized upon review by County Council. The proposal would provide the County with $400K annually over the 20 years for the naming rights with a slight adjustment for inflation.

"FirstMerit is committing more than their name to our county's future - they are becoming a partner to promote us as a destination for work, play and education," said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. "Our collaboration with FirstMerit on the Convention Center is a great opportunity to highlight this spectacular building as a resource for the region and the nation; it is a state of the art facility in the heart of our city. We're looking forward to many years of welcoming visitors to the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland."

The Cleveland Convention Center opened in June 2013 and hosted 228 events in 2014 attracting roughly 177,000 people to downtown Cleveland, which had an economic impact of approximately $111 million. The Convention Center includes 225,000 gross square feet of Class A, divisible exhibit space, 35 state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a 32,000-square-foot, column-free ballroom with spectacular views of Cleveland's lakefront. The building, owned by Cuyahoga County, is managed by SMG.

"We are pleased to partner with Cuyahoga County and the City on naming the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland," said Paul Greig, FirstMerit chairman, president and CEO. "This is an exciting time for Cleveland and we look forward to working with the County and the City, as its profile continues to grow in the eyes of the world."

FirstMerit, with 62 branches in the Cleveland area including 23 in Cuyahoga County, consistently looks for opportunities to connect with and support local teams, venues and experiences that make up the fabric of local communities. FirstMerit's involvement and visibility is a key component to its marketing mix and mission to serve all communities where branches are located. In addition to the convention center naming rights, other title sponsorships include the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island and FirstMerit Bank Stadium Club at US Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. and the FirstMerit Bank Event Park in Saginaw, Michigan.

FirstMerit has maintained its commitment to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio through partnerships with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Browns and Indians and by supporting nearly 100 different nonprofit organizations last year in Cuyahoga County including Cleveland Playhouse, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, College Now and University Circle, Inc.

"FirstMerit strives to make a fundamental difference in the communities we serve and this relationship with Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland is a reflection of that commitment," said Julie Tutkovics, chief marketing officer at FirstMerit. "The Convention Center estimates that current total convention bookings through the end of 2019 will have an economic impact of $577 million in Cuyahoga County. Because FirstMerit is dedicated to improving and preserving the financial well-being of our customers, shareholders and communities, we are excited to sponsor such a significant economic driver."

The agreement will be presented as a resolution to Cuyahoga County Council and will follow the normal Council review process.

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About FirstMerit Corporation
FirstMerit Corporation is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Akron, Ohio, with assets of approximately $25.3 billion as of June 30, 2015, and 367 banking offices and 399 ATM locations in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania. FirstMerit provides a complete range of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through its core operations. Principal affiliates include: FirstMerit Bank, N.A. and FirstMerit Mortgage Corporation.


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