Visa Extends Olympic Games Partnership Through to 2012
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced its first Olympic Partner to lend support until 2012, with the news that Visa International has extended its global sponsorship agreement until the Games of the XXX Olympiad. Visa is the eighth Partner to renew its Olympic backing as part of The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme, joining global Olympic partners Coca-Cola, Kodak, John Hancock, Schlumberger, Swatch, Panasonic and Samsung.
The agreement with the Olympic Movement, which includes sponsorship of the 199 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams, positions Visa as the exclusive payment card and official payment service Partner for the four Olympic Games following Athens 2004 - including the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin, in 2006; the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, in 2008; and the Olympic Games in 2010 and 2012, for which the host cities have yet to be selected. The deal also gives Visa the exclusive global marketing rights and official status for the Paralympic Games through to 2012.
Commenting at the announcement in London today, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, "Visa International is a valuable partner and friend of the IOC. Its long-term commitment will benefit the Olympic Movement greatly, not only by ensuring the continuation of our joint efforts to support sport, but also by strengthening the role that sport and the Olympic Games play in inspiring, motivating and educating young people across the globe."
IOC Marketing Commission Chairman Gerhard Heiberg added, "Visa is a leader in the world of finance and in sports marketing. It has always embraced the Olympic partnership, utilising this unrivalled sponsorship opportunity to reach and inspire athletes and young people. We are extremely delighted that Visa remains dedicated to the Olympic Movement."
Visa actively involves its global network in the Olympic partnership and extends Olympic Games programmes to its 21,000-member financial institutions. Over the past 17 years, the company has become the number one payment system worldwide, rising from 137 million cards in 1986 to more than one billion today. In 1986, Visa's global volume had reached almost US$111 billion. Today, it tops US$2.3 trillion, and Visa attributes much of this growth to its Olympic sponsorship.
Visa first became an Olympic Partner in 1986. Using the sponsorship as a platform, Visa has developed programmes to increase Visa transactions and brand awareness while providing numerous benefits for Visa cardholders and athletes. Sweepstakes, promotional programmes, sports clinics, financial support and other programmes have supported the communication of Olympic ideals and values.