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Arizona State University, Desert Financial Credit Union announce new partnership

Agreement includes arena naming rights, educational support for employees and marketing services


basketball arena
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October 14, 2019

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2019.

Arizona State University today announced a multifaceted partnership with Desert Financial Credit Union, the Valley institution founded in 1939 by 15 teachers. The agreement will result in the renaming of the University Activities Center — the arena that is currently home to men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball — and includes the development of continuing education opportunities for credit union members and employees.

The terms of the five-year agreement include an investment of $1.5 million per year from Desert Financial to ASU. Details of the continuing education certificate and degree programs are still in design, but an announcement on how employees and credit union members will access it are forthcoming. The agreement also includes a marketing and market analysis services partnership with Desert Financial and internships at the Phoenix-based credit union for ASU students. 

“Desert Financial is committed to communities throughout Arizona, as we are, and especially focused on education,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “These shared values form the foundation of a very strong relationship and represent a partnership based on much more than naming an arena.”

For Desert Financial, the largest credit union based in Arizona, the agreement represents a chance to build a stronger relationship with the state’s largest higher education provider while creating new opportunities for personal and professional growth for its members and employees.

“Desert Financial Credit Union’s connection to education comes from our founders; a group of Valley teachers who started with just $78.75 between them. They created an institution that would be of service to educators and students alike,” said Jeff Meshey, Desert Financial President and CEO. “We carry that legacy with us today because we believe strong communities are built by citizens who have received a good education. Our relationship with ASU will strengthen that commitment and be an asset to our employees and our members.”

Arizona State University, in following the eight design aspirations of the ASU Charter, continues to look for ways to improve access and impact for people who want to continue their education and for employers who are seeking talent for their organizations.  

“We are entrepreneurial in much of what we do, so we appreciate the financial benefits that come from naming rights,” Crow said. “However, our call is to be socially embedded and to connect with the community through mutually beneficial partnerships. The agreement with Desert Financial represents the kind of relationship we are seeking at all levels: partnerships fueled by a common interest.”

That relationship begins today. The new arena signs will go up in time for basketball season, which begins on Nov. 5 when the ASU women’s team tips off against Air Force. 

Top photo: The Class of 2023 fills the ASU basketball arena for the Sun Devil Welcome festivities on Aug. 22, 2019. The arena will be renamed as part of a new partnership with Desert Financial Credit Union. Photo by Jarod Opperman

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