BBVA #Blindfold (Harden & Durant) Sees NBA Go Global

BBVA, the official bank of the NBA, ushered in the new season with a new campaign, fronted by its global ambassadors Kevin Durant and James Harden, called ‘The Blindfold’.


The new work, which aims to both welcome in the 2014/15 season and to celebrate the renewal of BBVA’s partnership with the NBA, takes the form of an unusual challenge between the two players.


But not a challenge against one another, but a teamwork led stunt which sees the two players 7,800 km away from one another, connected only by mobile, with the goal of Durant coaching a blindfolded Harden to play against an opposing team.


The ad, a metaphor for teamwork, technology and communications skills, aims to reinforce the group’s brand as a global, digital enterprise that coaches people to reach their goals.


The spot was filmed in both the US and Spain and sees a blindfolded Harden (who was in the city competing for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team) on an urban street court erected on the roof of the BBVA Tower in Madrid and Durrant at home in Oklahoma City guiding Harden’s movements.



Blindfold aims to portray the lengths BBVA is going to transform itself into a truly digital bank that communicates effectively with its clients to help them achieve their financial goals, anytime, anywhere.


‘The NBA has done a phenomenal job of growing its brand globally, in large part through innovative use of digital channels, and that’s what BBVA is focused on doing,’ comments BBVA COO Ángel Cano.


‘Partnering with an institution like the NBA allows us to tap into the league’s passionate fans around the globe, extending our reach in meaningful ways.’


NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said: ‘Since we began our partnership in 2010, BBVA has quickly achieved significant growth in their business among NBA fans in both the US and abroad. They’ve accomplished this by weaving into the fabric of the NBA – everything from NBA Banking, to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, to working with us on important financial literacy programs through NBA Cares – and we look forward to creating even more programs that celebrate our game in the years to come.’




This season’s new ad, which has 700,000 YouTube views in its first 48 hours, follows 2013/14 activation that also featured Durant and Harden (and other BBVA sports ambassadors) led by a commercial that racked up an impressive 15m YTVs.



The campaign broke days before the start of the new season and celebrates the renewed deal that saw the NBA and BBVA extent their marketing partnership and cement the global financial services group’s role as the Official Bank of the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (NBA D-League).


Internationally, BBVA will maintain its title partnership of the NBA Global Games in Turkey and Spain as well as its title partnership of the NBA 3X Spain, a grassroots 3-on-3 tournament that will visit six cities in Spain in 2015.


The bank is also a partner of the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and several teams in the WNBA and D-League.


It also recently signed Kawhi Leonard as a brand ambassador in San Antonio and Chandler Parsons as a brand ambassador in the Dallas market.


BBVA’s US banking franchise, BBVA Compass, is the Official Bank of the NBA in the US and the new deal sees it maintain its role as title partner for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, a popular exhibition game during NBA All-Star that pits some of the League’s most talented first- and second-year players against each other.


BBVA’s NBA activation now stretches from collaborating with the league on NBA-themed fan offerings, plus the BBVA Compass and NBA Cares global social responsibility financial literacy program (which provides teacher-student packs and which sees NBA Legends visit elementary, middle, and high schools in the USA) to teach students the value of cultivating good financial habits at an early age.


The partnership has also introduced a new NBA Banking / BBVA Compass’ all-digital checking and savings account (which has generated customers from the fan base of all 30 NBA teams and from every state in the USA).


This evolving relationship also reflects the growing globalisation of the big league US sports – as they expand beyond their traditional US/Canada borders and aim to maximise reach and revenue on the international scale with in-season games and overseas global sponsors.




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