By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
January 31, 2011: Thanks to new alliances with the NBA, ESPN and NCAA, and programs that involve schools, communities and sports fans and consumers, BBVA Group has been named as the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year by NYSportsJournalism. The financial firm was awarded the honor through a vote conducted among the readers of NYSportsJournalism, a national sports marketing and media news network.
The naming of BBVA as the first Grand Sports Marketer of the Year coincides with the second anniversary of NYSportsJournalism. Based in New York, the network reaches more than 50,000 people daily, many of whom participated in the voting from December 2010-January 2011.
BBVA, which received about 50% of the vote, heads an all-star team of Sports Marketers of the Year that features ten companies whose sponsorships and alliances were among the most progressive and dynamic multi-media sports marketing-related strategies of 2010.
In addition to BBVA, the full list, in alphabetical order: Amway, CBS-Turner, Discover Financial Services, ESPN, Papa John's, Phillips-Van Heusen, Subway, Visa and Vizio. (See below for details of 2010 activation.)
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, based in Bilbao, Spain, and with U.S. headquarters in Birmingham, Ala., was a relatively unknown player in domestic sports marketing until initiating a series of deals as part of the company's strategy to become known as the "Bank of Sports." In September, BBVA signed a pact naming it the official bank of the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA Development League in the U.S., Spain and Puerto Rico.
In November, BBVA signed a multi-year deal to become title sponsor of the NCAA college post-season Birmingham Bowl (formerly known as the PapaJohns.com Bowl), which was played on Jan. 8. The deal, signed with ESPN Regional Television, Inc., a subsidiary of ESPN, also gave BBVA sponsorship presence in several other college bowl games: the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, the Texas Bowl in Houston and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.
"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 at the time of the unveiling of the BBVA Compass Bowl deal. "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."
The 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl was the most-watched game in the bowl’s five-year history, with more than 3.3 million viewers on ESPN. Attendance was 41,207, the second highest all-time at the event.
BBVA activated its pro basketball alliance in mid-September by having its logo on the jersey front of both the Atlanta Dream and eventual champion Seattle Storm during the 2010 WNBA Finals presented by adidas.
BBVA was then a lead sponsor during the NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports pre-season tour in Barcelona during games between the Los Angeles Lakers and the defending Euroleague champions FC Barcelona and the Lakers and Regal FC Barcelona. In Spain, BBVA Global has a title sponsorship alliance with La Liga, the nation's top professional soccer league.
In December, BBVA Compass unveiled its first NBA-related national TV spot, "Team Works," created in conjunction with lead agency GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas. The spot is part of an umbrella campaign with the NBA:
• The firm will be an associate partner of the NBA All-Star Day of Service as part of 2011 NBA All-Star Game week in Los Angeles in mid-February.
• "Team. Works. In Schools," a program with NBA Cares, will help refurbish schools in such BBVA Compass markets as Birmingham, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio.
• The BBVA Compass-NBA mobile tour will feature a 67-foot, 18-wheel truck that transforms into 6,000 square feet of basketball activities. The tour is scheduled to be held in Spring 2011 in ten communities within the BBVA Compass Sunbelt footprint.
The "Team Works" commercial, which has been running during NBA games on media partners ESPN, ABC and TNT, as well as NBA TV and NBA.com, is a highlight reel of NBA play that stresses teamwork. It features on-court action showing Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol of the Lakers, Carmelo Anthony and Nene of the Denver Nuggets, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics and Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks. A voiceover offers, "Teamwork works. In the NBA and at BBVA Compass, the official bank of the NBA." (See full spot here.)
"BBVA is a leading global brand with a successful history of reaching fans and consumers around the world through sports." — Mark Tatum, NBA evp-global marketing partnerships
"BBVA is a leading global brand with a successful history of reaching fans and consumers around the world through sports," Mark Tatum, NBA evp-global marketing partnerships, said of the league's alliance with BBVA. "Basketball is a global game and this new partnership illustrates how the transcending popularity of the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA D-League provide our partners with unique opportunities to engage our fans and celebrate the game in a variety of cultures."
BBVA Group has more than 48 million clients, 7,600 branches and an estimated 105,000 employees in more than 30 countries. In the U.S., the company has expanded its presence through a series of acquisitions, including Valley Bank (2004), Laredo National Bank (2005), Texas State Bank (2006), State National Bank (2007), Compass Bank (2007) and Guaranty Bank (2009).
All of the acquisitions have been integrated into BBVA Compass, a network of more than 700 retail banking locations.
2010 NYSportsJournalism Sports Marketers of the Year
Grand Sports Marketer of the Year: BBVA Group
Sports Marketers of the Year All-Stars (and some key alliances):
• Amway: Naming rights to Orlando Magic home arena; deal with Detroit Red Wings; signing Kurt Warner to sponsorship deal; presenting sponsor of MLS's San Jose Earthquakes.
• CBS-Turner: 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with expanded coverage of NCAA Men's Basketball Division I 'March Madness' tournament.
• Discover Financial Services: Deal to become official credit card partner of the NHL in the U.S.; presenting sponsor of NHL All-Star Game; naming rights deal to Discover Orange Bowl; 'Peggy' marketing campaign that includes former college head football coaches Bobby Bowden and Lou Holtz, Phil Pritchard and the NHL Stanley Cup.
• ESPN: Coverage of 2010 FIFA World Cup; BCS College Football Series; introduction and expansion of ESPN 3D; award-winning '30 For 30' series.
• Papa John's: First season as official pizza partner of the NFL.
• Phillips-Van Heusen: Alliance with Pro Football Hall of Fame; Izod IndyCar Series
• Subway: Deal with NBC Sports; alliance with ESPN, including Mike and Mike in the Morning; alliance with ING NYC Marathon; ad campaign with athletes including Michael Strahan and Lalia Ali; Sports Illustrated for Kids.
• Visa: 2010 Winter Olympics activation; 2010 FIFA World Cup activation; NFL and Super Bowl marketing.
• Vizio: Naming rights to the Rose Bowl Presented by Vizio; sponsorship deal with ESPN; Super Bowl marketing.