When you flipped away from NFL Sunday to watch some of the WNBA finals… well, if you had (and you should have to watch Sue Bird drain a free throw line jumper with 2.6 seconds left to give Seattle the win), you would have noticed something:
Both teams had the logo for BBVA on their jerseys.
Which would have led you to Google BBVA.
The answer is they are a Spanish bank making inroads in the United States, and they have signed a new $100 million marketing deal with the NBA and its partners, the WNBA and D-League. The NBA has confirmed the story, but the New York Times has the money numbers.
BBVA likes to use sports as a marketing tool, it is the title sponsor of La Liga, Spain’s premier soccer division (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, etc.). This gives the NBA a chance to expand its name into Spain, which is the best reason for David Stern to push for this. Well, that and the $100 million.
BBVA — using the name BBVA Compass here in the United States — has purchased banks and started to make its presence felt in Texas and through the Southern United States. It now has more than 700 branches here with continuing plans for expansion. However, it has very little presence through most of the nation, including the Northeast that is a big part of the NBA’s core. BBVA also is one of the largest banks in Mexico.
And it wants to grow its name recognition here in the States, which is where these deals come in. You’ll see plenty of BBVA on national game broadcasts this season. If you’re in Spain to watch the Lakers take on FC Barcelona in a preseason friendly next month then: 1) You’re lucky; 2) you’ll see a whole lot of BBVA tie ins there.
You’ll be seeing a lot of BBVA, now you know why.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”