What the ‘King of Cleveland’ and credit unions have in common

LeBron James. You either love him, or you hate him.

As a lifelong Clevelander and sports fanatic, I love LeBron! Regardless of your home team or even disdain for professional sports, it’s hard to argue against the fact that James is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) player the NBA has ever seen.

3 similarities

If I haven’t already lost you (I’m talking to you, Golden State Warrior fans), read on for the three key similarities between the King and credit unions.

1. Commitment to community

A well-known Northeastern Ohio native, James has not only transformed the NBA, but he has taken the children of Akron, Ohio, under his wing.

Education is one of James’ greatest passions. The LeBron James Family Foundation spends at least $1 million annually on initiatives including programs to lower the dropout rate as well as efforts to help elementary school children get (and stay) interested in education, teach students how to code, and assist with college resources.

Credit unions are not-for-profit because their purpose is to serve their members and their communities. They have been doing so in the U.S. for more than 100 years. Promoting financial literacy, hosting charitable golf outings, honoring local teachers, awarding scholarships, supporting sustainability and more, credit unions are advocates and avid supporters of their membership and communities.

Which accomplishments in the community is your credit union most proud of?

2. Setting records

Smashing and setting NBA records has been the norm for James since he was the youngest player drafted No. 1 in 2003. He is the only player in NBA History to win the NBA Player of the Month Award five times in a single season.

Just a couple of months ago, James became the first player in NBA history to amass 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists in a career. The list goes on and the league’s most dominate player is not done yet (and hopefully not done playing in Cleveland)!

Credit unions are also setting records in their own right. Total assets at credit unions reached a record high of $1.4 trillion at the end of 2017. Starting 2018 with a slam dunk, credit unions added 463,000 memberships in January, which is considerably higher than the 209,000 gain recorded in January 2017.

What will be the next membership milestone?

3. Keeping an eye on the competition

Clearly, James has a natural competitive edge to him. If he didn’t, he would not have been able to become arguably the best basketball player who has ever lived. This competitive nature and drive to be the best is what has propelled him to ‘The Chosen One’ status.

Credit unions are also very aware of their opposition and competitive threats. Many have their eyes on big box banks and FinTechs. All are focused on security and how to keep member information safe.

It’s an important topic. In fact, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. was $7.35 million, according to a recent study from Ponemon Institute.

That equates to $225 per lost or stolen record – not to mention the costs of losing members along with detecting, escalating and remediating the breach. Because security is a top priority, many technology providers employ security experts to monitor the security of their products and proactively enhance their software solutions to help credit unions combat new threats.

Regardless of who you root for, or against, during the NBA Finals, think about how your credit union can continue to up its game, do #WhateverItTakes and become the GOAT financial partner your members will ever WITNESS!

Go CAVS!

* This blog post was originally published on CUInsight.com.

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro brings more than 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of ECM as a tool for banks, credit unions and lenders to help automate paper-based processes and proactively manage regulations.

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