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First USA and the Ticketmaster Group Inc. signed an agreement Tuesday to create the a new, no-annual-fee MasterCard offering a wide range of entertainment-related rewards. The new program is MasterCard’s first major entertainment cobranding and builds on a relationship already established with Ticketmaster. VISA was the first to enter the entertainment sector with the highly successful Blockbuster VISA issued through NationsBank. First USA and Ticketmaster said yesterday the new card will be launched this spring and will tap into Ticketmaster’s database of 25 million ticket buyers.

Ticketmaster Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TKTM) announced today that it has signed an agreement with First USA to create the first credit card targeted to entertainment consumers, a co-branded, no-fee MasterCard offering a wide range of entertainment-related rewards.

The credit card, to be launched this spring, provides a significant new revenue stream to Ticketmaster, while extending its broad marketing partnership with MasterCard, the preferred credit card for all Ticketmaster purchases. The card will be marketed to entertainment consumers nationwide, including Ticketmaster’s proprietary database of more than 25 million ticket buyers.

“First USA, one of the country’s leading issuers of co-branded credit cards, has partnered with us because of the power of the Ticketmaster brand and our proven ability to reach the vast entertainment market,” said Fredric D. Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ticketmaster. “This card will benefit all types of entertainment consumers, whether they attend concerts, theater, sporting events, or family entertainment, with a wide variety of rewards.”

“We are excited about this exclusive alliance with Ticketmaster, the leader in live-event ticketing,” said James W. Stewart III, Executive Vice President of Partnership Marketing for First USA.

First USA, Inc. (NYSE:FUS) is a financial services company specializing in the credit card business and is among the largest providers of MasterCard and VISA services in the nation. First USA’s two principal operating units are First USA Bank and First USA Paymentech, Inc. First USA Bank provides MasterCard and VISA services nationwide and had more than 15 million credit cards issued with $19.9 billion in managed loans outstanding at Sept. 30, 1996.

MasterCard International, a payments company with one of the world’s most recognized brands, is dedicated to helping more than 22,000 financial institutions around the world offer consumers a variety of payment options. MasterCard remains focused on helping shape the future of money by expanding acceptance of its global brands (MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), the world’s largest ATM network) and maintaining reliable, secure networks facilitating global value exchange. MasterCard has nearly 370 million credit and debit cards that are accepted at more than 13 million locations worldwide. In 1995, gross dollar volume generated almost $500 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at

Ticketmaster is the world’s leading computerized ticketing service, selling nearly 60 million tickets a year through over 2,500 retail ticket center outlets; 16 nationwide telephone call centers; licensees; client box offices; and its Internet site. Ticketmaster serves more than 3,500 clients in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. The company provides ticketing for 77 professional sports franchises and hundreds of leading arenas, stadiums, performing arts venues, and theaters. Clients receive comprehensive ticket inventory control and management, broad distribution, and dedicated marketing and support services. The public receives convenient access to tickets for more than 150,000 events a year, including a broad range of concerts, sports, family entertainment, performing arts, and movies.

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