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Spain-based bank BBVA and the NBA today announced a multiyear partnership that will see BBVA become the official bank of the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League in the U.S., Spain and Puerto Rico. The bank's American subsidiary, Alabama-based BBVA Compass, will have an advertising presence on national game telecasts on ABC, ESPN and TNT, as well as on NBA.com and NBA TV. The bank will be the presenting sponsor of a 20-stop grassroots tour across the U.S. and will support the league's NBA Cares initiative (NBA). In N.Y., Ken Belson reports this is the “first time the league has had an official bank.” The company, which has “more than 700 branches in the United States, will dovetail its marketing efforts in the United States with its sports sponsorships in Spain to take advantage of the growing popularity of the NBA in Europe.” BBVA Compass will be the “main face of the sponsorship in the United States” and will “consider whether to hire an NBA player as a spokesman” (NYTIMES.com, 9/13). In Seattle, Jayda Evans reports the WNBA sold “marquee space” on the front of the jerseys of the Seattle Storm and Atlanta Dream to BBVA for the WNBA Finals. The company's logo appeared under the numbers on the front of the teams’ jerseys during Game One last night (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/13).
CONTINENTAL DRIFT: FANHOUSE.com's Tom Ziller notes the deal with BBVA "further presses the NBA's interests into Europe." NBA Commissioner David Stern "has shown no qualms about tapping foreign money to strengthen his league," and this deal is, outside of "perhaps Mikhail Prokhorov's purchase of the Nets, the biggest move in that direction" (FANHOUSE.com, 9/13).
Redskins QB Donovan McNabb in his first season in DC is "hoping to use his fresh start to reinvigorate his business goals off the field," according to Rick Maese of the WASHINGTON POST. Since the Redskins acquired McNabb from the Eagles in April, McNabb's brand has "seen a resurgence, and Team McNabb intends to further capitalize on it." Chicago-based attorney Andrew Stroth, McNabb's business adviser, called the QB's move to DC "a renaissance." McNabb has "aligned himself with new corporate partners, discussed plans to work with the White House and plotted ways to launch his brand to new heights." Stroth said that they are "trying to emulate the Magic Johnson model that so many others such as Ronnie Lott, Roger Staubach and John Elway have successfully leveraged." Maese reported McNabb is in discussions with "several Washington area businesses in the technology and health-care sectors, hoping to get equity stakes in return for aligning his brand with those companies." Since joining the Redskins, he has "landed at least two major sponsorship deals." He appeared in a national TV spot for Dr Pepper and last month taped commercials with Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin "for a new Capital One campaign that will launch soon." Stroth noted that "from a marketing perspective, the renewed interest in McNabb was almost immediate." His No. 5 Eagles jersey "hadn't been among the league's top-sellers" since '06, but his Redskins uniform was the "league's second-best-selling" this summer (WASHINGTON POST, 9/12). The POST's Maese noted McNabb's merchandise sales "have also benefited" the Redskins. Since the trade, the team has "been No. 6 in the league in terms of jersey sales," compared to No. 10 during the same period in '09. The following chart shows McNabb's partners (WASHINGTON POST, 9/12).EQUITY PARTNERSNEW CORPORATE PARTNERSEXISTING CORPORATE PARTNERS
Playmaker Mobile Dr Pepper Nike Yardbarker.com Capital One Verizon Novartis Pharmaceuticals AirTran Airways Mounted Memories
EVER THE SPOKESPERSON: NBC's Bob Costas interviewed McNabb in a taped piece prior to last night's Cowboys-Redskins game. Costas asked, "Is your mom still making you soup on game day? Get you fortified?" McNabb: "No, we haven't been with Campbell's in the last five, six years." Costas: "So then the soup stops. Check stops, soup stops." McNabb: "Check stops, soup stops. We're moving to hot chocolate now. Hot chocolate, warm apple cider, so please, call us." McNabb also appears in a Dr Pepper commercial with former NFLer Michael Strahan, and Costas asked, "How hard did Michael Strahan hit you in that commercial when he delivered the pizza?" McNabb: "As you can see very hard. And afterwards I drank a great Dr Pepper to fulfill my thirst and was able to relax and continue on with my day. Please drink Dr Pepper." Costas: "Not only cool in the pocket, but a veteran poised when it comes to the commercial pitch" ("FNIA," NBC, 9/12).
CHOMPING AT THE BIT: In Jacksonville, John Weidner noted Broncos QB Tim Tebow's jersey "became the best-selling uniform in the NFL" shortly after April's draft, and several Florida businesses "were quick to find ways to take advantage." In a Dick's Sporting Goods store in Jacksonville, a "rack holding a half-dozen Tebow jerseys can be found hiding in the corner of a mass of Jaguars jerseys." Also, Jacksonville-based Ocean Air Graphics "offers Tebow fans specialized merchandise such as pennants and shirts" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/12).
FRESH SCENT: In Chicago, Lewis Lazare reviews Old Spice's new commercial featuring Ravens LB Ray Lewis, noting the ad "quite simply represents a triumph of the creative imagination that absolutely compels us to buy into its outlandishness from top to bottom." Lazare: "That's indeed a rarity in most of the advertising foisted on the public nowadays" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/13).
Coca-Cola is said to be "on the verge of ditching" Manchester United F Wayne Rooney because company officials are "horrified and bewildered by his reported use of prostitutes," according to Gallagher & Nicholl of the London DAILY MAIL. Officials at Coca-Cola's HQs "were angry" when Rooney -- who advertises Powerade as part of an approximately US$924,000 per year sponsorship -- was "photographed in June smoking, urinating against a wall and singing raucously." The "latest allegations have left them believing ‘enough is enough.'" Coca-Cola execs at the company's London offices are "said to be desperately fighting" to keep Rooney as an endorser. Rooney earns about US$3.9M annually from four sponsors -- Coca-Cola, EA Sports, Nike and Harper Collins. Gallagher & Nicholl reported parent groups "want them to end the contracts because he has set an ‘appalling’ example to children" (London DAILY MAIL, 9/12). The N.Y. POST reported Coca-Cola officials in Atlanta reportedly "ordered the London office to sever ties with the soccer player." The London office is said to be "resisting the move, arguing that Rooney was signed up to attract young men to the brand rather than to burnish its family image." A final decision is "expected in the next two weeks," and sources indicated that "London is expected to lose the tussle." Rooney's relationship with Coca-Cola dates back to '03. To date, Nike and EA Sports "have expressed support for Rooney (NYPOST.com, 9/12).