Chris and Luke, NJ teens who sought sponsorship, ink a history-making deal


(June 18, 2001 – Wilmington, DE) – The world watched with amazement as Chris Barrett and Luke McCabe, two marketing-savvy high school seniors from New Jersey, launched an unprecedented campaign seeking corporate sponsorship for their college careers.


Today, their ingenuity pays off as they make history by serving as “student ambassadors” for First USA Bank, in exchange for college tuition at Pepperdine University and University of Southern California.


“First USA is committed to supporting education, innovation and financial responsibility,” said Doug Filak, Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy at First USA.  “These young men embody all three.  We are thrilled to reward their resourcefulness and financial management initiative by sponsoring their college education.”


The first-ever corporate sponsorship will give the young entrepreneurs an opportunity to share their insight on financial responsibility with their peers.  “Our successful partnership with First USA is the result of a lot of thinking and financial planning,“ said Chris.  “We want to send a powerful message to students everywhere that financial planning can make great things happen.”


Securing college sponsorship is just one of the items on the enterprising high schoolers’ long list of successes.  Chris’ book and website for concert fans have earned him a Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) marketing award and enough profits to purchase a car.  Under Luke’s marketing guidance, his band, Big Fat Huge, has produced a CD and toured the East Coast.


 “Chris and Luke are excellent models for smart money management and financial independence.  They’ll make terrific student ambassadors for First USA,” said Filak.


Teens Plan to be “B.M.O.C.” (Budget Minded on Campus)

According to the First USA Financial Index, nearly 1.7 million high school graduates want to “use money responsibly.”  As they prepare for college, these soon-to-be freshmen are thinking about ways in which they can finance their education, including funds from their parents, financial aid and scholarships.  In fact, 250,000 students plan to rely solely on money from their parents, while 450,000 will subsidize their education with the help of financial aid and scholarships.


To keep on top of their finances while away from home, more than 612,000 students heading to college this fall have already determined their budget for the coming year.


The First USA Financial Index is a branded survey of over 400 American high school graduating seniors.  For more information about the First USA Financial Index findings, visit the website at


First USA realizes the importance of educating students about the principles of money management.  Through its sponsorship of Chris and Luke, as well as other educational initiatives, First USA delivers a positive message to young adults about financial responsibility.  First USA's free informative brochure and CD-ROM (available by e-mailing provide a range of practical financial tools for students.  First USA's Student Advisory Board, launching this fall, will give college students across America the opportunity to speak for their peers as they share their thoughts on financial issues.  Also coming this fall, the First USA online reference site will give students an opportunity to learn more about money management.