No Guilt Naming Rights
BBVA Compass has inked a 10-year, $20 million deal for sponsorship and naming rights to the new soccer stadium rising in EaDo, and frankly, it's a great fit. The new stadium will be called BBVA Compass Stadium.
Not convinced it works? Here's why it does:
1. European credibility
BBVA Compass might be the specifically American branch of the global banking giant, but BBVA is based in Bilbao, Spain. It's a bit of a stretch to call it cool, but compared to the things I associate with other MLS stadium sponsors like Red Bull (frosted tips) and Pizza Hut (cardboard/obesity), BBVA having at least a tenuous connection to famous art museums and Basque wines makes it a winner.
The kind of pretentious Europhiles who insist on calling soccer "football" (or "fútbol") won't be disappointed.
2. An inside track to La Liga
BBVA (again, the European branch, not BBVA Compass) also has a strategic sponsorship partnership with La Liga, Spain's professional soccer league. BBVA's association is so lucrative and so high-profile that the top tier of the league has officially been renamed the LigaBBVA through 2013.
What does that mean for the Dynamo? Next to nothing. OK, absolutely nothing. Probably. But you never know.
After all, Just naming Utah's MLS team Real Salt Lake earned the team an exhibition match with Real Madrid every two years and a lucrative partnership in a youth academy. That's just because Salt Lake copied their name.
I'm not saying the bankers are going to be making deals to loan the Dynamo some Liga stars, but if they wanted to lend some out, wouldn't the Dynamo be an attractive, corporately symbiotic option? Maybe I'm just having a waking dream, but if it puts us one inch closer to Cristiano Ronaldo in a Dynamo uniform, that I am so for it.
3. Not embarrassing
You know what was no fun? Having "Enron Field" slathered all over Houston's lovely new baseball stadium 10 years ago. It was literally a monument to the corporate excess that led to the company's spectacular implosion and a reminder to all sports fans what city Enron called home.
Bank of America and Citibank might have paid significantly more to put their names on stadiums in North Carolina and New York, respectively, but I'd rather have a sponsor that hasn't inspired any protests over TARP or debit card fees lately. BBVA and fellow Spanish bank Santander made news (and profits) through the recession by avoiding subprime exposure. That's the kind of reputation I want the namesake of H-Town's stadium to have.
Plus, we're all just going to call it Dynamo Stadium anyway, aren't we?