With legislation looming on the horizon that could loosen membership restrictions, credit unions are increasingly using sponsorship to reach new members and access perks for existing customers.

The proposed rule from the National Credit Union Administration would make more than a dozen changes to limits on how credit unions can define their field of membership, according to The Wall Street Journal, noting that credit unions serving certain geographic areas could expand their territory without going afoul of population limits or other restrictions.

The proposed rule—which is expected to be completed by this fall—would increase sponsorship activity in an already active category.

Among recent deals, Boeing Employees’ Credit Union this year signed a new partnership with the MLS Seattle Sounders and expanded its sponsorship with the WNBA Seattle Storm in a new multiyear deal.

The deals follow ties between Westcom Credit Union and University of California, Los Angeles athletics; Golden 1 Credit Union and the Golden 1 Center (future home of the NBA Sacramento Kings) and Founders Federal Credit Union and Founders Park,  home to the University of South Carolina baseball team.

Credit unions use sponsorship to accomplish three primary objectives: build visibility; recruit new members and reward existing customers.

“We want to make people aware of BECU and reinforce our members’ decision to keep their primary financial relationship with us by supporting things they care about and are invested in,” said Stephen Black, BECU vice president of marketing.

The state-charted credit union serves roughly 960,000 members throughout Washington State, he said.

Below, three hot buttons for companies in the credit union category:

Access member perks. As cooperative organizations, credit unions often look for sponsorship assets that can be shared with members.

BECU this year is activating the Seattle Storm with sponsorship of the team’s Honorary Captain program, around which it offers members’ children the opportunity to sit on the bench during pre-game warmups and meet referees and team captains at center court.

BECU leverages the Mariners by offering discount tickets to games on BECU Family Night.

Promote savings accounts and other products. Like their bank counterparts, credit unions often use sponsorship to promote financial products. BECU uses the Seattle Storm’s Honorary Captain program to promote youth savings accounts, while it activates its partnership with University of Washington athletics to promote a co-branded credit card.

Support community initiatives. Like their bank counterparts, credit unions frequently use sponsorship as a community relations play.

For every Sounders FC goalkeeper “save” on the field during a regular season home game, BECU makes a $250 donation to support employment and education programs at Youthcare, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides services for homeless and at-risk youth.