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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Veracruz, Mexico, sponsors Legends

By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com

The NBA D-League is announcing a non-traditional sponsorship on Tuesday between the state of Veracruz in Mexico and the Texas Legends.

Legends
Veracruz will become the first state in Mexico to have its name on the jerseys of a team that doesn't play there.

The state's marketing phrase "Veracruz Incomparable" will appear on the front of the team's jerseys beginning Saturday. Veracruz will become the first state in Mexico to have its name on the jerseys of a team that doesn't play there.

The Veracruz tourism phrase also will have prominent placement on the court, which will be called the "Veracruz Court at Dr Pepper Arena."

Veracruz, in fact, is located some 1,200 miles from Frisco, Texas, where the Legends play. But the state believes it has something to sell, mainly its port city, also named Veracruz, its hub for tourism.

The fight to get the American dollar to Mexico has become more intense in recent years as the tourism business has picked up. Last month, the Mexico Ministry of Tourism reported that from January 2007 to September 2012, nearly 131 million tourists visited the country, up 12.1 percent from the same time span preceding it. The number of people staying overnight in the country increased by 18.3 percent during the roughly 5-year span.

People of Hispanic origin make up 38 percent of the population in Texas, and projections show that the ethnic group is on pace to represent the majority of the state's population by 2030.

The Legends are coached by Mexican-born former NBA player Eduardo Najera.