BBVA becomes NBA sponsor

MADRID Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:00pm IST

A man waits in front of a BBVA bank branch in central Barcelona July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Albert Gea/Files

A man waits in front of a BBVA bank branch in central Barcelona July 23, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea/Files

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MADRID (Reuters) - BBVA(BBVA.MC), Spain's second largest bank, has become an official sponsor of the U.S. NBA basketball league, it said on Monday.

BBVA has acquired six small- to medium-sized U.S. banks since 2004, focusing on the southern U.S. and using its strong Latin American presence to tap into the the lucrative money transfer market for immigrants in the country.

"This deal ... opens a new and ambitious route to growth in Spain, Puerto Rico and the U.S through our BBVA Compass brand," Global Communications Director Gregorio Panadero said in a statement.

BBVA's larger Spanish rival Santander sponsors Formula 1 teams and individual drivers.

BBVA should also benefit with the extra publicity from the NBA deal in Spain, where there is a strong following for the league, where Catalan's Pau Gasol plays.

(Reporting by Jonathan Gleave; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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