University Credit Union levels up student support with innovative NIL deal for Saint Mary’s College Student-Athletes

Gaels gain a financial edge with “champions” program

LOS ANGELES AND MORAGA, CA (May 8, 2024)University Credit Union (UCU), a financial institution built by the university community for the university community, announced a groundbreaking partnership with Saint Mary’s College today. This first-of-its-kind NIL (name, image, and likeness) deal extends financial support and educational resources to every member of the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Saint Mary’s College. 

This innovative NIL agreement goes beyond simply sponsoring the teams. The partnership offers a comprehensive package designed to empower student athletes on the court, strengthen their financial futures, and support their community at large. Dubbed the “Champions” program, the support it lends to student-athletes carries on both UCU’s and Saint Mary’s core values – helping university students, staff, faculty, and alumni become champions on campus and in life. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Saint Mary’s College and its talented student athletes,” said Dr. David Tuyo II, CEO and President of University Credit Union. “As a credit union built on campus, we understand the unique challenges faced by students, including athletes, as well as the faculty, staff, alumni, and every other important member of the university community. This NIL deal is more than just a sponsorship; it’s an investment in this community’s financial well being and future success.” 

The partnership offers Saint Mary’s College athletes several benefits, including: 

  • Membership in UCU: Providing access to a range of financial products and services designed to meet the students’ specific needs 
  • Financial wellness workshops: Equipping student-athletes and the broader community with the knowledge and tools needed to manage their finances effectively
  • Building a solid financial foundation: Ensuring the Saint Mary’s College community has the skills and resources to achieve financial independence after graduation and beyond 

This partnership also strengthens UCU’s connection with the Saint Mary’s College community. By supporting these exceptional student-athletes and empowering them as brand ambassadors, UCU hopes to attract new members who share their commitment to the college and its students. 

We are excited about our new agreement with University Credit Union regarding the name, image, and likeness deal. UCU continues to be an amazing partner with Saint Mary’s College, and this deal is just another example of our growing relationship,” said Saint Mary’s College Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, Mike Matoso. “UCU is a huge part of the Gael family community, and we cannot thank them enough for this latest commitment.” 

About University Credit Union (CA)

University Credit Union, a federally insured financial cooperative, was founded in 1951 on UCLA's campus by faculty and staff. Serving more than 50,000 members, UCU has become a leading credit union in the United States. A board of directors comprised only of the university community’s faculty, staff, and alumni guides UCU toward fulfilling its core purpose. That purpose is to give its members a financial advantage in life. With its promise to advocate, educate, and innovate, UCU serves as an industry-leading financial partner to university communities. 

About Saint Mary’s College of California

At Saint Mary’s College of California, we inspire minds, engage with the world, and create opportunities for students to find their lives transformed. With small class sizes and professors who know you by name, the Saint Mary’s experience empowers students to thrive — whether you’re an undergraduate or a professional looking for the next step in your career. Founded in 1863, the university is proud of our

Lasallian heritage and how it fuels teaching and learning in an inclusive and wonderfully diverse community. More than 3,600 Gaels study on our Bay Area campus nestled in the rolling hills of Moraga, just 23 miles east of San Francisco. US News and World Report put SMC among the top five regional universities in the West. You’ll also find Saint Mary’s highlighted in the guide “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change The Way You Think About Colleges.” Saint Mary’s is the only Catholic college and the only university in California to make the list.


Kristy Collins
AVP of Marketing

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