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08/11/2011 11:05 AM

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Long-term sponsorship is part of ongoing support in the greater Rockford area

Rockford, Ill. – BMO Harris Bank announced today it has entered into a long-term agreement for the naming rights of the Rockford MetroCentre and sponsorship of the Rockford IceHogs, in partnership with the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE).  This announcement builds on numerous commitments made by the bank since it enhanced its presence in Rockford last year.

The Rockford MetroCentre will now be called BMO Harris Bank Center.  In addition to being the home of the Rockford IceHogs, it hosts numerous entertainment, conference and community events and has been a cornerstone in the community since the venue's opening in 1981.

"This new opportunity allows us to take our support of the greater Rockford area to the next level," said Mark Furlong, president and CEO of BMO Harris Bank, N.A. "The Rockford MetroCentre has long committed to enhancing the overall quality of life in Rockford, and while BMO Harris Bank shares this same promise to our communities, we look forward to carrying on the tradition and enriching the city with sought after performances and sporting events."

“This is an exciting day for RAVE – and truly for the whole community – which benefits from the sports and entertainment at the MetroCentre,” said Mike Dunn, RAVE Board Chairman.  “The long-term commitment from BMO Harris Bank has been unwavering – from the sponsorship of the world’s largest outdoor synthetic ice rink which brought thousands of families to downtown during the winter months to today’s announcement of the naming rights makes it a perfect example of a genuine partnership of an organization that cares about the individuals in the area.”

“I appreciate the hard work of the RAVE Board, the management team, and our partners at SMG who helped to get this deal done,” said Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. “The MetroCentre is a great community asset and today's announcement by BMO Harris Bank demonstrates the confidence they have in the direction of RAVE and our entire downtown. Having the world-wide credibility of BMO Harris Bank will help us to continue our work to expand entertainment and economic development opportunities in our community.”
“This is a true community collaboration – bringing together a business that has shown an ongoing diligence in supporting our regional activities and initiatives with a organization that in the past 18 months has virtually changed the way people feel and think about downtown,” said Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen.  “The BMO Harris Bank Center is a great example of what can be done when the private and public sector work together for the good of the citizens.”

“We are pleased to see the ongoing partnership that the Chicago Blackhawks has built with BMO Harris Bank continued with our AHL Affiliate Rockford IceHogs,” said Chicago Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough.  “Our franchise is always motivated by our quest for consistent excellence and our partnership with BMO Harris Bank aligns with that goal perfectly.”

“We have all benefited from the excellent entertainment and sports that is brought to our area’s largest arena,” Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg. “Today’s announcement demonstrates a further vote of confidence for our region by a large corporation who is committed to the vision of enhancing our quality of life.”

For its second year, BMO Harris Bank will also continue its sponsorship of the BMO Harris Bank Winter Wonderland, a seasonal 12,000-square-foot synthetic ice skating rink in Davis Park, re-opening in November.

About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, the bank has approximately 700 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida.  BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial institution with 1,600 branches, a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion, and combined U.S. businesses that rank as the 12th largest commercial bank, by assets, in the United States.

BMO Harris Bank is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Banking deposit and loan products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Brokerage products are offered through Harris Investor Services, Inc. (HIS), a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and SEC-registered investment advisor. Insurance products are offered through Harris Bancorp Insurance Services, Inc. (HBIS). Investment banking services are provided by BMO Capital Markets Corp. (BMOCMC) and BMO Capital Markets GKST, Inc. (GKST), a Municipal Bond Dealer and member FINRA and SIPC. Financial planning and investment advisory services are provided by Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc. (Harris SBSB), an SEC registered investment advisor. Family Office Services are provided by Harris myCFO, Inc. Investment advisory services are offered by Harris myCFO Investment Advisory Services LLC (Harris myCFO), an SEC-registered investment advisor and wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris myCFO, Inc. Stoker Ostler Wealth Advisors (Stoker Ostler) is an SEC-registered investment advisor. Investment advisory services to institutional clients are provided by Harris Investment Management (HIM) or its wholly-owned subsidiary HIM Monegy (Monegy), SEC-registered investment advisors. Products offered by HIS, HBIS, BMOCM, Harris SBSB, Harris myCFO, Stoker Ostler, HIM, and Monegy, which are affiliated companies and wholly owned subsidiaries of BMO Financial Corp.,: Are not insured by the FDIC or any Federal Government Agency, not a deposit of or guaranteed by any Bank or Bank Affiliate, may lose value. The purchase of insurance or an annuity is not a condition to any bank loan or service. Not all products and services are offered in every state and/or location.