Kinecta Federal Credit Union has signed its first sports-related sponsorship. And the cooperative has decided to go big, relatively speaking.

The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based credit union has secured a five-year partnership with AEG that includes founding partner status of the StubHub Center and exclusive financial services designation of the StubHub Center and the LA Galaxy.

The deal also includes first-ever naming rights status of the Kinecta Soccer Center, the LA Galaxy’s public indoor soccer facility.

Kinecta replaces City National Bank as the exclusive financial services company of the StubHub Center and LA Galaxy.

Kinecta, which bills itself as one of the largest credit unions in the country, will use the partnership to accomplish three objectives: engage the local community, build mindshare and acquire new members.

The partnership builds on a three-year-old community outreach initiative that includes traditional media, sponsorship of local events (surf camps, 5Ks, etc.) and support of high school career centers.  

“We didn’t want to go out the door at 100 miles an hour. We wanted to reintroduce ourselves to the community, so we started hyper local,” said Shannon Doiron, Kinecta first vice president of marketing.

While Kinecta explored sponsorship opportunities with other teams in the Southern California market, the credit union was drawn to the Galaxy due in part to the absence of other financial services companies.

“The Galaxy have less noise from financial institutions than other teams. We’re a local brand—we can be a big fish in a small pond.”

Member acquisition is a key driver behind the partnership. Unlike some credit unions, Kinecta offers multiple pathways to membership, including where consumers live, work and pray.

“Our field of membership is unique. Just about anyone can become a member.”

Kinecta plans to lean on AEG’s social and digital expertise for its member acquisition efforts. That includes working with AEG to identify potential members based on their demographic, psychographic and geographic profiles. The credit union will then use those insights to send targeted marketing messages.

“We’ll know from click to membership how well it’s working.”

Kinecta will also use the partnership to reward existing members. That includes providing tickets to the Galaxy’s March 4 season opener.

“LA Galaxy will see great benefit from having direct exposure and access to Kinecta’s regional membership base via the various custom ticket offers, private events, and soccer-centric experiences as part of our deal. As such, we’re confident that the partnership structure will also allow for their regional base to increase via new memberships sourced from the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center’s sphere of influence,” said Robert Vartan, AEG senior director global partnerships.

In a twist from other sponsorships in the financial services category, Kinecta does not gain business from AEG as a result of the partnership.

“From a banking perspective, they have needs we couldn’t meet,” said Doiron, noting that Kinecta will offer banking services and financial empowerment training to LA Galaxy and AEG employees.

AEG will offer the Galaxy’s banking business to other financial services companies with whom it works, said Vartan.

“Since the banking business was not required as part of our deal, the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center are able to better align our treasury activities to AEG’s ancillary preferred banking providers.”

The partnership also includes rotational exposure on the StubHub Center’s two freeway marquees and player meet-and-greets at Kinecta’s 23 Member Service Centers in Southern California.

Kinecta previously went by the name Hughes Aircraft Employees Federal Credit Union before taking its current moniker in 2001.