Visa (NYSE: V), a proud and long-standing worldwide sponsor of the Olympic Games, today announced that it will extend its Olympic Games sponsorship for a period of eight years.
In renewing its sponsorship, Visa will retain the rights it has enjoyed since 1986 and remain the exclusive payment services sponsor and the only card accepted at the four Olympic Games that follow London 2012 Olympic Games, including the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
The renewal announcement was made during a formal contract signing ceremony by Visa Inc. Group President, Rupert Keeley, and International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, in Moscow, Russia.
Over the past twelve Olympic Games, Visa has utilized its sponsorship to increase its global brand leadership, grow Visa transaction volume, expand acceptance in new and emerging markets and enhance preference for its products and services.
The new contract will enable Visa to deliver additional benefits to clients and their cardholders with expanded point-of-sale presence, exclusive acceptance programs for Olympic-related transactions and increased access to unique experiences for Visa clients to offer to their customers through Visa marketing programs.
"The Olympic Games deliver tremendous global exposure and access to virtually every demographic group," said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer of Visa Inc. "The Olympic Games also deliver tangible and proven business building benefits to Visa, its clients and partners. Client activation around the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, which involved more than 573 clients in 41 countries, illustrates the universal appeal of this marquee property."
IOC President Jacques Rogge said: "Our partnership with Visa demonstrates a shared commitment - to the future of youth and sport, to the future of the Olympic Games and to the strengthening of the Olympic ideals and values we respect. On behalf of the IOC, the 205 National Olympic Committees around the world, and the athletes themselves, I would like to thank Visa, its clients and partners for their commitment through to the 2020 Olympic Games."
The unwavering and growing appeal of the Olympic Games has provided Visa with a flexible platform on which to build integrated marketing campaigns. Over the years, Visa's use of the Olympic sponsorship to support its business has evolved with its business strategy.
"During the early days of our Olympic sponsorship, we focused on promoting our exclusive acceptance at the Games. Today, we utilize the sponsorship platform to promote the advantages of using Visa instead of cash and check and to facilitate the development and advancement of the payment infrastructure in Olympic host countries.
"With efforts in support of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games already underway, and London 2012 well into our planning stages, we are particularly excited about the opportunities that the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will provide. We look forward to working with partners in Russia, the Sochi Organizing Committee and the IOC to further build on our Olympic legacy and make the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games a global success," Lucio said.
Visa's commitment to the Olympic Movement, National Olympic Committees, national teams and individual athletes has been an important factor in ensuring the continuance and success of the Olympic Games. Visa has created a number of programs around the world to help sustain Olympic teams and athletes as they embark on their journey to the Games. Visa was also the first worldwide Olympic partner to mount marketing destination programs linked to the cities hosting the Olympic Games.
Visa also retains exclusive category rights to all 205 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams around the world. These rights include advertising and promotional use of Olympic marks and imagery from the Olympic Games as well as marks from the National and International Olympic Committees.