When the Lakers’ Anthony Davis got the call last summer from newly appointed First Entertainment Credit Union chief marketing officer Amondo Redmond, the connection was instant.
“We explained our vision for A.D. out of the gate and it all clicked on how we could work together on projects,” says Redmond. “He quickly grasped how he could help in creating a story that spoke to L.A. as a whole and how we could make an impact in the community.”
Last year, as soon as Redmond joined First Entertainment, a company steeped in Hollywood studio history, he knew the first order of business would be establishing a partnership with another L.A. institution. “We needed to shake up and reimagine what First Entertainment represents, not only to the entertainment community but to the Los Angeles community at large, and the 16-time NBA champions are a perfect fit,” says Redmond. First Entertainment is now the official credit union of the Lakers.
As the Lakers deal was inked, First Entertainment moved on to another key piece of the plan: finding someone specific to tell the story. Enter Anthony Davis. A.D. quickly became First Entertainment’s first brand ambassador in spring 2020, kicking off the Lakers’ relationship with the company. Davis sees the First Entertainment connection as another way to show his love for Los Angeles and Lakers fans.
Through First Entertainment, Lakers fans can sign up for the Lakers Debit Card, which connects their passion for the team to their need to manage finances and prosper. It’s a special, tangible way for fans to share their Lakers pride. Check out the video:
“From the moment I joined the Lakers, I’ve looked for ways to build stronger connections to the city and to our dedicated fans. The First Entertainment partnership has been a great way for me to be able to share the passion that has brought so many of us together, no matter where we are or where we’re from,” says Davis.
Davis and First Entertainment also designed a first-look, Limited-Edition Lakers Kit to celebrate the launch of the themed card. Individuals who sign up for the card will be automatically entered into a First Entertainment/Lakers-sponsored sweepstakes to randomly win one of the kits. Sign up for the card and learn more about the kits at First Entertainment’s website.
Redmond adds, “We are launching the Lakers Debit Card as another way for us to tap into the rich legacy of both the Lakers and First Entertainment organizations while giving our passionate and creative membership a way to express their love for one of the greatest teams to ever play the game.”
Lakers fans have already learned to love what A.D. does on the court — the way he moves around with purpose and ease. There’s nothing frenetic or wasted with 6-foot-10-inch Mr. Everything.
One minute he’s dropping down into the paint, spinning and dunking to throw a jolt into Lakers fans. Then, on the other end, he’s stepping across the key to help a teammate block a shot after shutting down his own man.
It’s 100% smooth, 100% of the time.
A.D.’s journey to Los Angeles is a classic Lakers move: The organization built a strong team piece by piece, then added another superstar when it brought him in from New Orleans. In the past, that’s led to dynasties that won multiple championships for the purple and gold.
Off the court, community building and generosity are nothing new for A.D. As far back as his rookie year in New Orleans, Davis has actively spent his time and money supporting community causes.
In the Big Easy, he bowled, played video games and battled kids in laser tag. He sponsored shopping sprees at toy stores and served Thanksgiving dinners at shelters.
Since arriving in Southern California, his foundation has been part of raising $250,000 to help provide free meals to Los Angeles-area hospital workers fighting COVID-19 and joined forces with other celebrities to raise more than $262,000 for Feeding America.
Teammates, friends, family and the league have taken notice. He’s earned the NBA Cares Community Assist Award multiple times and inspired hundreds to do what they can to help.
Like the rest of the association’s players, A.D. is thinking about more than just hoops lately. Davis, and fellow Lakers Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are working just as hard off the court these days to advance social justice and advocate for equality, and they have joined Davis in dedicating their star power as brand ambassadors for First Entertainment.
First Entertainment will next tap Davis, along with Green and Cook, to launch an online financial literacy program later this month that is geared toward high school seniors and college students. A financial expert will lead roundtable conversations with Redmond and each of the players discussing money management, student loans, credit and saving.
Working with First Entertainment is just another step in A.D.’s long-term plan. It started on the courts in his hometown of Chicago, grew during his collegiate championship-winning season and expands every time he steps on the floor for the Lakers.
Let’s call it the fuel for his “all dreams apply” philosophy, something that his opponents should fear and that Lakers fans will love.