SBD/August 7, 2012/Olympics

Visa Europe Debuts New Ad Capitalizing On Usain Bolt's Win In The 100 Meters

Visa debuted a 10-second "Flow Faster" spot scheduled to air in the U.K. and Turkey
Visa Europe has "turned around a 10-second ad featuring Usain Bolt's 100 metres Olympic win" as part of the company's "Flow Faster" campaign, according to Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith of BRAND REPUBLIC. The Saatchi & Saatchi-created ad, which launched on Facebook and European TV yesterday, shows Bolt "running around a track and pulling his signature 'lightning bolt' gesture." A voiceover says, "Congratulations Usain on flowing faster." The ad is scheduled to air in the U.K. and Turkey, as well as on websites in Europe (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 8/7). REUTERS' Keith Weir noted Bolt is the "face of German sportswear company Puma," but since the company is not an Olympic sponsor, it "can only start a fresh marketing campaign built around Bolt next week once the Games are over." Bolt "looks certain to improve on annual earnings of $20 million after retaining his 100 meters Olympic title and the world record on Sunday night." Bolt is "an advertising man's dream," as his name is "made for his profession and he has won fans on the biggest global stage with a unique cocktail of cheek and cool." Bolt has a "series of lucrative sponsorship deals" in addition to Puma and Visa, including Gatorade, Swiss watchmaker Hublot, Virgin Media, Soul Electronics and Nissan. Millward Brown Global BrandZ Dir Peter Walshe "compared Bolt's marketability with former England soccer captain David Beckham, one of the most well-known sports celebrities Britain has produced" (REUTERS, 8/6).

STAR POWER: In Australia, Glenda Kwek noted Bolt is "set to race ahead of many of his fellow Olympians with new endorsement deals, after cementing his position as the world's fastest man with back-to-back gold medals in the premier track and field event." PR firm Markson Sparks Founder Max Markson "believes the Jamaican will double his sponsorship earnings after the winning sprint in London." Markson said, "That 10 seconds is worth $2 million a second, for the next 12 months easy" (BRISBANE TIMES, 8/6). FOXSPORTS.com's Greg Couch wrote Bolt is, "and already was, the rock star of these games." Couch: "No offense to Michael Phelps, but even his winning swimming records were a warm-up act for Bolt" (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/6). ESPN's Michael Wilbon wrote Bolt is "the biggest star in the Olympic universe." Wilbon: "Bolt opens his mouth and a star comes out" (ESPN.com, 8/5). SB Nation's Bomani Jones said, "The Olympics were on loan until Usain Bolt showed up" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/6). In DC, Mike Wise wrote Bolt "is that transcendent star" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/5).
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