Spanish bank BBVA signs $100 million marketing deal with NBA

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BBVA.jpgWhen 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.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.