NBA's Becky Hammon Stars in BBVA Compass Ad Ahead of All-Star Game

Bank Is the Latest Marketer to Embrace Female Athletes in Marketing

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Becky Hammon at a press conference.
Becky Hammon at a press conference. Credit: Courtesy Becky Hammon

Another marketer is embracing the trend of female athletes in its advertising. In time for the NBA All-Stars game on Sunday, BBVA Compass will roll out two 30-second spots. One stars Becky Hammon, the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach who recently made history as the first female All-Star coach. In the spot, she talks about the many obstacles she encountered in getting to where she is today.

The spots are part of the Birmingham, Ala.-based bank's "Bright Futures" rebranding campaign, which began last May. The company wants to bring more humanity to banking, explained Jennifer Kelly Dominiquini, chief marketing and digital sales officer at BBVA.

"This campaign is rooted in optimism," said Ms. Dominiquini, who joined the firm last year. "Banking is an industry with a lot of negativity and we tried to take a more human, lighter tone to the advertising."

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As part of the campaign, BBVA has enlisted five brand ambassadors from the NBA, which it has sponsored for six years. A spot featuring NBA All-Star Kevin Durant will debut Thursday evening, while Ms. Hammon's ad will air Friday. Each spot promotes one of the bank's 10 principles, such as "Know where you're going" and "Dare to be you."

"I want people to look at me and see someone just like they are -- not unusually tall or the strongest one out there -- who was able to accomplish some pretty great things by just reaching for them," said Ms. Hammon in a statement about her inclusion in the campaign.

Last year, BBVA worked with American Express to create a card for the NBA, and ran a corresponding ad campaign around it. This year's marketing focuses more on the ethos of the BBVA brand. Ms. Dominiquini declined to say how much the bank is spending.

It goes without saying that female athletes are having a moment in marketing. Adidas recently rolled out a female-centric campaign, following in the footsteps of similar efforts from Nike and Under Armour.

In the coming months, BBVA will expand the campaign to feature brand ambassadors beyond the NBA, including small business owners and civic leaders. The marketing was developed in-house, though the bank also worked with O2ideas and SweetSpot on production.

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