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  • OLYMPIC SPONSORSHIP MOMENTS: VISA'S COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM

         THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY's ongoing series on Olymoic
    sponsors continues today with Visa, the Official Payment Card of
    the Olympics.  Visa's goal is to acquire a high visibility and to
    enhance their own brand image as well as the image of their
    member banks.  Visa USA Corporate Communications Manager Mike
    Sherman:  "It allows Visa's member banks to tie themselves to the
    Olympics."  Visa research puts their Olympic advertising
    awareness at 68%.
    COMPANY:       Visa
    STATUS:        Top Worldwide Sponsor ($40M+)
    CATEGORY:      Payment System
    EXCLUSIVITY:  Visa is the only card accepted on site at all the
    venues of the Olympic games.
         IN-KINDVisa will provide customer service centers
         SERVICES: throughout Atlanta for replacement of any lost
    cards, be it Visa, MasterCard, Amex etc.  ATMs on Olympic grounds
    are provided by a joint partnership of Visa and NationsBank.
         ON-SITEAt the ACVB visitors center, Visa will have a
         PRESENCE:wall with an interactive video screen, working with
    local retailers, they will offer Visa-related discounts.  In
    addition to the Games, Visa has signed on as a sponsor of the
    city, making them the Official Card of Atlanta. Visa's logo and
    their distinction as a city sponsor is on all of ACVB's marketing
    materials as well as on site at Atlanta's convention/meeting
    centers.
    USE OF RINGS: All Visa cards issued until the Games will have the
    rings.  Visa will also offer commemorative cards with either
    pictures of Atlanta Olympic venues or other Olympic sports-
    related scenes.
    NEW PROGRAMS: Visa's sponsorship deals include the U.S. Decathlon
    team, U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Figure Skating, U.S. Gymnastics and
    Canadian bobsled team.  Visa has signed the five living U.S.
    Olympic decathlete gold medalists as reps.  Also, the Visa
    rewards program will provide a corporate donation to the USOC for
    every Visa transaction at participating retailers.  They have
    guaranteed the donation of $2.5M to the USOC.  The Gold Medal
    Achievement program targets 5,000 Atlanta merchants.  A "secret
    shopper" working for Visa will award prizes to retailers for the
    best Visa promotion.
         NEW PRODUCTS:Visa travel money is being piloted right now at
    seven banks in the U.S., U.K. and Mexico.  Essentially, it is a
    temporary ATM card that works like an electronic travelers check
    and could be co-branded with an Olympic program.
       TV AD TIME:Nothing Olympic-oriented is scheduled for this
    year.  They have bought time on NBC, but not on NBC's O&Os as of
    yet.  According to Sherman, Lillehammer was the 5th consecutive
    Olympics where Visa experienced "parasite" advertising.  As for
    NationsBank, a Visa member bank and also a top Olympic sponsor,
    Visa is working closely with them not to dilute each other's
    programs.
    TOTAL BUDGET: A large portion of the $40M+ sponsorship was paid
    to ACOG/ACOP in cash.  Any other budget figures were not
    available.
    (Source:  Mike Sherman, Visa USA).
    

    Print | Tags: American Express, Bank of America, MasterCard, NBC, Olympics, USOC, Visa
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