The $1.4 billion CFE Federal Credit Union in Lake Mary, Fla., said it has signed a seven-year, $3.95 million deal to purchase the naming rights of the 10,000-seat UCF Arena, which has been renamed CFE Arena.
Since 2007 when it opened, the arena has hosted University of Central Florida men’s and women’s basketball games, concerts, UCF and high school commencement ceremonies and other events. Men’s basketball alone has attracted 538,457 fans since the arena opened, CFE said in Thursday’s announcement, adding that UCF’s basketball teams are expected to draw national exposure when they move next year into the new American Athletic Conference.
“We have been a consistent supporter of education in Central Florida since our founding in 1937 and recognize UCF’s unique presence as an ever-expanding community of students, staff and alumni,” said Joseph Melbourne Jr., CFE president/CEO. “Our partnership with UCF offers us an even greater opportunity to provide the next generation with lifelong financial management skills and the products and services they will need throughout their lives.”
The credit union will open a branch inside the CFE Arena, its fourth location on or near UCF’s main campus. The branch will offer flexible operating hours, especially during events hosted at the arena, the credit union said.
CFE’s indoor space will include a lounge for arena visitors to sit, study and charge their electronic devices. ATMs also will be installed in and near the facility.
“Our branch in the CFE Arena will be more than a place to conduct financial business,” said Katie Thomason, director of UCF development for CFE. “We want to create a café vibe with a comfortable lounge area and a self-service coffee bar. Visitors will be invited to enjoy a cup of coffee while they relax or study individually or in the company of others. The space will also be used to provide money management coaching and training for students.”
CFE’s naming rights agreement is the latest initiative of the credit union’s focus on becoming more recognized and accessible on the UCF campus. In November 2011, CFE acquired UCF Federal Credit Union with an on-campus location and a location across from campus. Through its merger with UCF Federal Credit Union, CFE said it now has more than 40 years’ experience serving the students, faculty and staff on the UCF campus.
The naming arrangement is the second the nearly 60,000-student school has announced with a credit union. The $1.7 billion FAIRWINDS Credit Union is the official credit union partner for the UCF Alumni Association and has the naming rights to the school’s alumni center.