Combine all the disparate entities under financial services/fintech and its easily the biggest sponsorship category. A recent study from L.A.-based Innovative Partnerships Group suggests that credit unions may be the red-headed stepchild within this large sector.
Consider that around 135 million Americans now belong to a credit union. Half of the credit unions with naming-rights deals surveyed by Innovative Partnerships Group said category exclusivity was not crucial to them, along with a greater need for branding than the large legacy financial services that have traditionally invested in sports marketing.
And it gets even more interesting.
"Credit unions are the best-kept secret in the biggest sponsorship category," said Innovative Partnerships Group CEO Jeff Marks. "They've been growing considerably since the 2007-2008 financial crisis and have a need to differentiate, which sponsorship can serve well. And they don’t have to create a community platform -- credit unions are community platforms. The trend we’re seeing is that legacy banks have gone to fewer bigger sponsorships, and fewer naming rights. That’s left a void we expect credit unions will continue to fill."