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Volume 26 No. 209
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Visa Unveils Roster Of Olympic Endorsers Ahead Of Tokyo Games

USWNT F Megan Rapinoe and Gold Medal-winners Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky headline Visa’s global team of Olympic endorsers heading into next year’s Tokyo Games. The list features athletes from 43 countries -- the broadest roster in Visa’s 32 years as a global Olympic sponsor -- and includes more than 30 sports, including new additions surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing. Visa Chief Brand & Innovation Marketing Officer Chris Curtin said Visa had also sought to emphasize sports who mark the Olympics as their true highest calling. As the Games have expanded, the Olympics include more events that are eclipsed by other properties in their sport, like the Rugby World Cup or professional golf’s majors.

“Increasingly, we’re putting a pronounced emphasis on finding athletes whose sport is, in the context of the Olympics, the culmination of that sport,” Curtin said. “That’s more a guideline than a rule, because there’s some exception to that, but nonetheless we think that’s where the magic is.” Other Americans on the list include paracyclist Oksana Masters, sprinter Noah Lyles and surfer Carissa Moore. Visa is a traditionally prized endorsement among athletes because of the brand’s commitment to major media buys during the Olympics and general prestige as a sponsor, offering a coveted promotional boost.