Nov 8, 2010

ESPN Regional Television, an ESPN subsidiary, and BBVA Compass have agreed to allow BBVA to be the title sponsor of what used to be the Papajohns.com Bowl (that always had a lovely ring to it, no?).  The new bowl game, currently known as the Birmingham Bowl, will be retitled as the BBVA Compass Bowl.

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates numerous branches throughout Texas, Alabama, and California.  It is the 15th largest U.S. commercial bank based on deposit market share.

The bowl formerly known as the Birmingham Bowl has done fairly well for itself, considering the number of bowl games in college football and the teams that compete in the bowl itself. It has generated over $41 million dollars during its 5 year existence, while attendance to the bowl game has risen by at least 10% since the bowl’s inception.

Last year’s game featured the University of Connecticut and the University of South Carolina.

The first BBVA Compass Bowl is scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 8th, 2011.

In addition to the title sponsorship of the newly renamed BBVA Compass Bowl, the agreement also provides BBVA with secondary sponsorships in three of ESPN’s other bowl games; the Texas Bowl, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, and the New Mexico Bowl.

“The agreement with ESPN will allow us a channel where we can connect with our customers’ passion,” said Manolo Sanchez, BBVA U.S. Country Manager and president and CEO of BBVA Compass. “For many people, their favorite sports team is a central part of who they are and college football fans are among the most passionate fans in the world. At BBVA Compass, we want to provide fans an opportunity to participate in what they love. The BBVA Compass Bowl provides us with a great opportunity to enhance the economic impact to the city of Birmingham while the agreement also allows us to reach fans in three other key Western markets that we serve.”

BBVA’s move into college football continues the financial institution’s commitment to sports sponsorship — they presently are the official bank of the NBA, WNBA, and NBDL, as well as the title sponsor of La Liga BBVA, the top professional soccer league in Spain.

BBVA’s new title sponsorship continues what has become a “Bowl-go-round” in college football, with numerous bowls — Rose Bowl (Vizio), Orange Bowl (Discover), and the GMAC Bowl (GoDaddy.com) — changing title sponsors within the last few months.

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