(from Sports Business Journal, April 1, 2013) Since 2007 the World Cup has been tied to Visa as a FIFA sponsor, a tradition that will continue well into the next decade due to an eight-year sponsorship extension for the World Cup which is valued at more than $170 million. This continuation of contract allows Visa to continue as the official payment services partner for the world’s largest soccer tournament until 2022.
This contract gives Visa the rights to the two premiere global sports properties, the Olympics and World Cup. The past six years with this deal has allowed Visa to raise its brand awareness in Olympic markets like China and Japan, and soccer markets like South Africa. Also under this contract FIFA will keep control of the retail banking rights and Visa’s rights will be limited to the payment services category. This change gives FIFA the chance to boost its total haul for the retail banking category by selling rights in Europe during the coming World Cups. The change also means that Visa will be spending more for less and will not be able to offset its costs in the same way it has under its current agreement.
To originally receive the position of official payment services sponsor Visa outmaneuvered MasterCard. A deal that caused Master Card to sue FIFA, claiming is had the right of first refusal for the category, which was ultimately settled in the lawsuit. MasterCard, Visa’s biggest competitor also has remained active in soccer sponsorship. Last year they signed a sponsorship with the Brazilian national team that will run through 2020. This deal gives them worldwide rights to a high profile team, usually ranking second to views home team.
FIFA divides its sponsorships into three tiers: worldwide partners, World Cup sponsors, and national sponsors. In addition to Visa, other worldwide partners include Kia, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony, and Emirates.
With the continuation of Visa as the payment services provider at the World Cup and the Olympics there is no doubt to be more memorable Visa commercials for viewers to enjoy.