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%.
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
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-
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
TOTAL BUDGET: A large portion of the $40M+ sponsorship was paid
to ACOG/ACOP in cash. Any other budget figures were not
(Source: Mike Sherman, Visa USA).