BREAKING NEWS: VISA Sponsorship Real Time Update
After a successful Day 5 at the Olympics, Canada has left with 2 more medals – 1 silver and 1 bronze. Although that is not a small feat on its own, its not what took place in the pool or on the water that’s amazing, but rather on your T.V. Within the first week of the 2012 Games, TOP sponsor VISA has been one of the most proactive brands sponsoring the Olympics with real time updates. VISA has just aired two new commercials congratulating Olympians Brent Hayden (Canada) and Michael Phelps moments after they won their medals.
o “Go Brent” T.V billboard
“Visa is thrilled to celebrate Brent’s hard earned medal through a real-time Go World congratulatory billboard,” said Brenda Woods, Head of Marketing Canada, Visa Inc. “Along with the rest of Canada, we know how determined Brent has been to medal at these Olympic Games and we’ve been cheering for him through our Go World campaign.”
VISA Canada’s real-time ad however, is just as amazing as the one made for swimmer Michael Phelps after becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time. Airing just after winning his 19th medal, the commercial featured footage from Phelps’ memorable race as well as from previous races and podium finishes.
o Michael Phelps “Go World” T.V ad
- Sponsor: VISA
- Brand Promise: The currency of progress – to extend the benefits of digital currency to more people, businesses and governments everywhere in the world.
- Olympic Exclusive: Payment Services
- Sponsor Since: 1986
- London 2012 Campaign: “Go World”
- Campaign Cost: Estimated $100 million TOP sponsorship + sponsorship activation investment.
- Campaign Time: Go World launched May 2012. Announcement of athletes supported by VISA – July 2011. Go World is a global marketing platform year round.
- Campaign Scale: Global with various national campaigns running (Over 70 markets in the world)
An estimated 8 million people will be attending this year’s Olympic Games. Every person attending will need to eat and drink, and will more than likely pick up a few souvenirs along the way. VISA is the exclusive payment services sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics and will be the only card accepted – profiting off of the millions of transactions taking place throughout the Games.
VISA has been an Olympic sponsor since 1986 and has since grown their campaign from 5 countries participating to 21 countries in 2010. They’ve acknowledged the success of their campaigns by extending their sponsorship of the Olympic Games to 2020.
VISA’s London 2012 Olympic campaign includes both a large digital marketing program, as well as a physical presence at the Games. VISA’s global campaign is called “Go World” and it is the largest global campaign that the company has ever executed. The campaign will be activated in over 70 countries and seamlessly integrates social media with more traditional advertising mediums. The “Go World” campaign is centered on encouraging fans to cheer on Team VISA athletes during the Olympics. Team VISA is comprised of 69 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls from around the world.
“The Go World campaign celebrates athleticism and human triumph through unique athlete stories”, stated VISA in a recent press release.
VISA is using social media as the central hub for the “Go World” campaign, fully utilizing Facebook and Twitter. Fans can create, view, and share cheers across social media platforms. Select fans have the chance to see their cheers featured in a special VISA congratulatory commercial, which is set to air during and post-Games.
In addition their “Go World” campaign, VISA will implement and manage the payment system infrastructure and network at the London Games. They will provide 3,200 contactless enabled POS devices, 8 ATMs, and 8 VISA Customer Service Booths. There will also be approximately 350 Coke vending machines at the Games that will accept cash and VISA cards – proving top sponsorships can increase exposure when working together (similar to McDonald’s and Coke). VISA is also running a contest for Canadian and American cardholders to have a chance to win a trip to the London 2012 Olympics.
VISA announced today (July 31, 2012) that its largest global and most social marketing campaign in the company’s history has generated a record 28 million “cheers” prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. VISA reports that the top seven most-active “cheering” countries are the United States, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Australia.
Go World encourages consumers to cheer via Facebook, Youku and Sina-Weibo in China, VKontakte in Russia, YouTube and Twitter (US), and to ultimately inspire Team VISA athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since the campaign launched in May, fans have cheered in the form of liking the VISA Facebook page, submitting photos, videos and text cheers and performing one-click cheers through VISA’s Cheer application on Facebook. Viewing and sharing video content on YouTube, including the campaign’s hashtag (#VISAGoWorld) on Twitter (@TeamVISA), as well as cheering through partner websites allows you to connect with athletes and get involved in the Olympics.
- 1.9 million fan “Likes” on VISA’s Facebook page
- 400,000 cheers for 69 Team VISA athletes in the form of a one-click cheers and text,
- Photo or video submissions
- 25.7 million views of VISA’s Go World commercials, behind-the-scenes athlete content and consumer-generated cheer videos
- Globally, the most viewed Go World commercials include:
- The Difference @ 8.5 million views
- Double Beach Vollyball @ 3.4 million views
- A Very High Drive @ 3.2 million views
- The five most cheered for Team VISA athletes around the world include:
- Li Na (Tennis, China)
- Yelena Isinbaeva (Pole Vault, Russia)
- Michael Phelps (Swimming, USA)
- Lopez Lomong (Track & Field, USA)
- Azizul Awang (Track Cyclist, Malaysia)
- Within the United States, the five most cheered for Team VISA athletes include:
- Michael Phelps (Swimming)
- Lopez Lomong (Track & Field)
- Nastia Liukin (Gymnastics)
- David Boudia (Diving)
- Alana Nichols (Wheelchair Basketball)
“Social media has transformed how our consumers engage with the VISA brand and our Team VISA athletes,” said Kevin Burke, CMO of Core Products, VISA Inc. “Because Go World is social at its core, we are bringing consumers together in conversation to inspire Olympic athletes and are extremely pleased by the campaign’s early results. In addition, our Team VISA athletes have told us they’re thrilled and humbled by outpouring of support they’ve received from fans everywhere.”
The Right Message at the Right Time
VISA recently released a commercial congratulating Team VISA Olympian Emilie Heymans, a Canadian diver, only mere hours after she won her medal. The speed and viral-feeling of the commercial showcases how social media can be used to create a successful, up to the minute marketing campaign.
VISA knows how to stand in a crowded market of global sponsors and has successfully positioned itself within the Olympic movement as a leading and innovative marketer. Its “Go-World” Olympic-themed marketing campaign captures attention and generates visibility and value for the brand and its clients and merchant partners. As with other properties such as the NFL, VISA has proven they can engage millions of fans around the world, create business-building opportunities and cement VISA’s position as the “gold standard” in Olympic marketing.
To ensure the “Go World” campaign is able to deliver a singular message (similar to P&G’s “Thank You Mom”), VISA has created a global framework that can be customized by different markets (like the aforementioned Canadian example with Emilie Heymans), and ultimately, deliver more relevant content through channels that amplify VISA’s message and deliver innovation across emerging and traditional outlets. To achieve this, VISA is implementing a propriety approach called “audience first.”
First implemented ahead of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, “audience first” is an approach where consumer-centric media planning becomes step one in the creative process. The model is based on understanding the consumer behavior and media consumption patterns that shape a consumer’s buying decision. This serves as a road map for all communications decisions, content generation, and strategic focus and is a key cornerstone of the VISA marketing way.
VISA’s use of real-time creativity and storytelling, global athletes, emerging technology and social media platforms to engage a global community around the Olympic spirit like never before will definitely be a “best in class” execution likely exceeding business goals.
Why It Works
- The campaign builds on its initial launch in 2010 – consistency.
- It’s relevant and engaging to fans in their home country.
- It delivers a singular message that can be customized by different markets
- It’s holistic and blends traditional advertising and communications mediums with digital and social in a seamless manner.
2014! The digital and social world will likely play a robust role in VISA’s Olympic marketing activation.
About “The Business of the Olympics”
The Olympics are one of the most watched events in the world. With so much potential revenue at stake, what makes a successful campaign? How can businesses launch marketing campaigns that are creative, innovative, and universal? THE KMAC GROUP’s “The Business of the Olympics” blog series answers these questions by analyzing select Olympic sponsors, on a global and domestic scale, highlighting their campaign successes and areas of improvement, as well as taking a look at key marketing practices during the Olympics such as “ambush” marketing, Olympic clothing licenses, and the risks involved with marketing during the Games. KMAC has advised and executed Olympic programs with sponsors for the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 Games.