BBVA Compass has dropped its leaguewide sponsorship of the NBA and signed a multi-market, multi-property deal with AEG.

The multiyear partnership affords branding, customer entertainment and digital content opportunities across three property sectors: music, food and cycling.

The sponsorship assets are clustered in four of the seven states where BBVA Compass operates retail branches: Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas. The agreement does not include assets in Alabama, Florida or New Mexico.

Sheiludis Moyett, BBVA Compass director of strategic partnerships and branded content, describes the portfolio shift as a move away from a blanket sponsorship to one that provides targeted reach and engagement in key markets.

“We want to be more specific and deliberate in term of the markets we operate in.”

While BBVA did not renew the NBA following the 2016-2017 season, the bank has not abandoned the pro sports league. BBVA continues to sponsor three teams (Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs), as well as a handful of players.

“The NBA is a wonderful platform,” said Moyett, noting that the bank has used the league to promote its “Creating Opportunities” tagline, build its presence as a banking leader and drive engagement through NBA content.

Rather than focusing exclusively on sports, BBVA will use its new AEG partnership to engage customers and prospects across multiple passion points.

“Every customer is not the same. We’re trying to create opportunities for everyone.”

The partnership includes branding rights at four music venues (PlayStation Theater in New York City; Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie in Texas; etc.) and sponsorship of the BBVA Compass Patio Sessions, a series of 10 patio sessions with emerging artists.

The Patio Session events will take place in Dallas, Denver and Phoenix and will be broadcast on AXS TV.

Non-music events include the All-Star Chef Classic, a March 2018 culinary celebration at L.A. Live, and presenting sponsorship of the Chairman’s Dinner & Ride, a kickoff event for the 2018 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race.

The two events build on BBVA’s previous involvement in food and cycling.

BBVA has hosted clients and prospects at pop-up dinners over the past several years via a partnership with the Roca brothers, the chef/proprietors of world-renowned restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.

On the cycling front, BBVA sponsors the Pursuit for Those with Disabilities, a coast-to-coast bike ride that raises funds for The Center, a Houston-based agency that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

BBVA also teamed with Houston Bike Share to offer free bicycle rides in the week leading up to Super Bowl 2017. The bank offered free rides to both customers and non-customers.

“(The Pursuit and Houston Bike Share) are separate deals, but connected, which led us into cycling. It’s a niche sport, but it has very loyal followers.”

In addition to providing access to consumers across multiple passion points, the AEG partnership provides another major benefit: flexibility. BBVA can change programming and switch out assets based on the needs of individual markets.

“There are things we can turn on and off to adapt to our business requirements. We have programs that we can customize to fit our business goals.”

Moyett points to the BBVA Compass Patio Sessions as an example. BBVA can customize the concerts to each market by rotating artists and musical genres.

The partnership builds on an previous relationship between AEG and BBVA. BBVA in 2011 signed a 10-year naming rights deal to BBVA Compass Stadium, the home of the MLS Houston Dynamo.

While AEG sold its equity stake in the team several years ago, AEG sales executives kept in touch with Moyett and other BBVA leaders, resulting in a meeting in 2016 to discuss another potential opportunity.

“Sheiludis and I stayed in contact, and we put together a customized partnership based on their objectives in certain markets and the power of our portfolio,” said Nick Baker, AEG Global Partnerships senior vice president.

BBVA—which provided financing for BBVA Compass Stadium—gains a significant amount of new business as a result of the partnership, he said.

BBVA’s Multi-Layered Approach To Activation
BBVA will activate the partnership via customer access and digital content.

The bank will provide access to AEG events to each and every customer. That includes commercial banking, wealth management and cardholder services.

The bank is building a web site where customers can request tickets for one of its sponsored events—no matter the market—on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“There are other programs like this in existence, but we’re trying to take it a bit further. We want to make it easy for any client to have access to these events, not just a few.”

BBVA will also use the partnership to gain content for its social and digital channels, with the goal of staying relevant to clients and prospects.

“It’s not about us talking about a checking account. We want to share content that is meaningful and connect with consumers in a non-intrusive way.”

The AEG partnership provides more flexibility than professional sports when it comes to scheduling content, said Moyett, noting that the bank had to work within the confines of the NBA season and the league’s milestone events when developing a content schedule.

“We can drive scheduling, unlike sports. There are things that we can map out according to what we need from a business standpoint.”

BBVA will also host social influencers at the All-Star Chef Classic and other events, she added.

“We take care of our social fans and followers.”