November 4, 2010: BBVA Compass, a leading financial institution in the Sunbelt Region and the self-proclaimed "Bank of Sports," has signed a multi-year deal to become title sponsor and marketing partner of the Birmingham Bowl, which pits teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Big East. The first BBVA Compass Bowl, which formerly had been known as the Papajohns.com Bowl, will be played Jan. 8, 2011, and shown on ESPN.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal was signed with ESPN Regional Television, Inc., a subsidiary of ESPN.
This is the second major sports deal for BBVA since September, when the firm signed on to become the official bank of the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA Development League in the U.S., Spain and Puerto Rico. Parent company BBVA Group in Europe also has an alliance with La Liga, Spain's top professional soccer league. When the NBA deal was signed, Gregorio Panadero, BBVA global chief communications officer, stated that the agreement "solidifies BBVA's position as the 'Bank of Sports' and opens up a new and ambitious pathway to growth in Spain, as well as in the U.S., through the BBVA Compass brand."
In addition to title sponsorship of the BBVA Compass Bowl, the agreement also provides BBVA Compass secondary sponsorships in three of ESPN's other Bowl games: the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque (Dec. 18), the Texas Bowl in Houston (Dec. 29) and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth (Dec. 30).
Several other college football bowl games also have signed new sponsors this year, including the Discover Orange Bowl, the Vizio Rose Bowl and the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
According to BBVA executives, these partnerships "enhance BBVA's overall commitment to sports . . . and fully identifies the bank with the values of passion, teamwork, and fair play inherent in sports."
"The agreement with ESPN will allow us a channel where we can connect with our customers' passion," Manolo Sanchez, BBVA U.S. country manager and president and CEO of BBVA Compass, said in a statement. "For many people, their favorite sports team is a central part of who they are and college football fans are among the most passionate fans in the world. At BBVA Compass, we want to provide fans an opportunity to participate in what they love."
"For many people, their favorite sports team is a central part of who they are and college football fans are among the most passionate fans in the world."
Activation around the BBVA Compass Bowl will include the BBVA Compass Street Festival the evening prior to the game, the Fan Zone at Historic Legion Field on game day, Internet, POP and signage and other marketing in and around the venue.
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates more than 717 branches including 382 in Texas, 92 in Alabama — including 29 locations in Birmingham, 65 in California, 77 in Arizona, 45 in Florida, 36 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico. BBVA Group is a leading European bank, with 48 million clients, 7,600 branches, and approximately 105,000 employees in more than 30 countries, according to the financial firm.
According to Mark Meadows, ESPN executive director of the BBVA Compass Bowl, "We are extremely pleased to have formed this strategic alliance with BBVA Compass in order to continue the growth and success of our first four years. The prospect of working with a Birmingham based corporation and the willingness of their staff to explore new marketing strategies will pay dividends for the BBVA Compass Bowl for years to come."
Now in its fifth year, the now titled BBVA Compass Bowl has generated more than $41.3 million in economic impact for the Birmingham area, according to officials. "The BBVA Compass Bowl provides us with a great opportunity to enhance the economic impact to the city of Birmingham while the agreement also allows us to reach fans in three other key Western markets that we serve," said Sanchez.