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America First inks Major League Soccer sponsorship

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America First Credit Union has signed a deal extending its partnership with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, becoming the team’s first-ever official credit union sponsor.

The Ogden, Utah-based institution is one of a handful of credit unions to align themselves with an MLS club, including last year’s announcement that SPIRE Credit Union would serve as the designated CU sponsor for Minnesota United, Kinecta FCU’s 2018 deal with the LA Galaxy, Mazuma CU’s partnership with Sporting Kansas City and more.

While not as high-profile as the NFL or other sports leagues, many credit unions have elected to partner with MLS teams partly because it has historically been cheaper than sponsoring teams in larger leagues. That was part of Westerra CU’s rationale when it partnered with the Colorado Rapids nearly a decade ago, and in that time the league has added 10 additional teams – growing by more than 60% - meaning more opportunities for credit union sponsorship deals.

America First’s partnership also includes sponsorships for affiliated teams Utah Royals FC, Real Monarchs and the RSL Youth Development Academy. The credit union said in a press release the deal will result in exclusive member-only benefits for fans, co-branded credit and debit cards, naming rights for parts of Rio Tinto Stadium and more.

In a press release, John B. Lund, America First’s president and CEO, called the deal another way “to provide value to our members and enhance our communities.”

Andrew Carroll, Real Salt Lake’s chief business officer, said, “America First Credit Union has long been a valued partner with Real Salt Lake and this extension and commitment not only broadens the spectrum of the relationship to include a wider array of activation possibilities, but also provides a much deeper connection between the RSL organization and AFCU.”

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