NBA Inks Sponsorship Deal With Banking Giant

Say hello to your new banking overlords, NBA enthusiasts. From the NY Times: “The N.B.A. has agreed to a four-year sponsorship deal worth more than $100 million with BBVA, the Spanish financial giant. BBVA will become the official bank of the league, the W.N.B.A. and the N.B.A. Development League, according to sources familiar with the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it had not been announced. The bank, 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 N.B.A.’s growing popularity in Europe. The deal is the latest effort by the N.B.A. to raise its profile overseas and attract international investors. The league has made deep inroads in China and last week announced plans to open an office in Moscow. In May, it opened its first office in Africa. This year, N.B.A. teams will play preseason games in Spain and China, and regular-season games in London. About 20 percent of the players in the N.B.A. were born overseas. The Nets were bought by Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire. The N.B.A. has partnerships with Lenovo and Haier, two Chinese electronics companies. This is the first time the league has had an official bank.”