By Barry Janoff
October 27, 2014: Stating that “the NBA has done a phenomenal job of growing its brand globally," BBVA Group has extended and plans to expand its role as an official partner of the league.
The multi-year alliance maintains BBVA Compass' status as the official bank for the NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League. BBVA Compass also bas alliances with the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and teams in both the WNBA and NBA D-League. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The extension comes with new marketing, anchored by a TV spot breaking this week starring Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden of the Houston Rockets, who have been company spokesmen dating back to the first deal, which was signed in 2010.
It also recently signed Kawhi Leonard of the defending NBA champion Spurs as a brand ambassador in San Antonio and Chandler Parsons as a brand ambassador in the Dallas market.
“The NBA has done a phenomenal job of growing its brand globally, in large part through innovative use of digital channels, and that’s what BBVA is focused on doing,” Ángel Cano, BBVA president and COO, said in a statement. “Partnering with an institution like the NBA allows us to tap into the league’s passionate fans around the globe, extending our reach in meaningful ways.”
BBVA Compass' NBA-themed fan offerings include NBA Banking, BBVA Compass’ first all-digital checking and savings account. BBVA said that the account "generated customers from the fan base of all 30 NBA teams and from each state in the continental U.S."
The financial firm also will maintain its role as title partner for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, an exhibition game played during NBA All-Star weekend featuring top rookies and second-year players against each other. The next event will be played in Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, as part of All-Star Game weekend in New York this February.
Internationally, BBVA will maintain its title partnership of the NBA Global Games in Turkey and Spain as well as its title partnership of the NBA 3X Spain, a grassroots 3-on-3 tournament that will visit six cities in Spain in 2015.
Via the BBVA Compass Future Builders Program, BBVA Compass and various NBA Legends will visit elementary, middle and high schools throughout the U.S. to "teach students the value of cultivating good financial habits at an early age."
According to Mark Tatum, deputy commissioner and COO for the league, “Since we began our partnership in 2010, BBVA has quickly achieved significant growth in its business among NBA fans in both the U.S. and abroad. They’ve accomplished this by weaving into the fabric of the NBA — everything from NBA Banking, to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, to working with us on important financial literacy programs through NBA Cares — and we look forward to creating even more programs that celebrate our game in the years to come.”
The new spot, "The Blindfold Challenge," was filmed with Durant in Oklahoma City and in Madrid on the roof of the BBVA Tower with Harden, who was there this past summer with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.
The storyline shows Harden being blindfolded and taking on three defenders as he tries to drive to the basket. Durant is directing his moves via remote cameras and technology.
"Since we began our partnership in 2010, BBVA has quickly achieved significant growth in its business among NBA fans in both the U.S. and abroad."
BBVA said that the spot "evokes the lengths BBVA will go to as it transforms into a truly digital bank to help its clients achieve their financial goals, anytime, anywhere."
“BBVA’s vision is to work for a better future for people and we’ve been able to make a deep, and we hope, lasting impact through our partnership with NBA Cares,” Manolo Sánchez, BBVA Compass chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Together, we’ve reached more than 50,000 students in the U.S. and have made a multimillion-dollar investment in schools through refurbishments, technology donations and financial education. And it’s only just begun.”
BBVA Group was named Grand Sports Marketer of the Year in 2010 by the readers of NYSportsJournalism.
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