Visa Renews NFL Sponsorship Through 2014 Season

September 22, 2009 at 9:03 AM EDT
New agreement results in 20 year association with the NFL and includes comprehensive range of benefits for Visa, clients and cardholders
SAN FRANCISCO, Sep 22, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), a proud sponsor of the National Football League (NFL) since 1995, today announced it has renewed its sponsorship for another five seasons. Visa will be the exclusive payment service for the NFL and all official NFL events through the 2014 season. The company also unveiled its integrated marketing campaign in support of the 2009 NFL season.

As part of the renewal agreement, Visa will enjoy a host of new benefits which include: top-tier sponsorship of the NFL Draft and NFL Kickoff, exclusive experiences for Visa clients to utilize in their Visa card marketing programs, a Visa and NFL co-branded online portal on for Visa Signature cardholders to obtain access to one-of-a-kind NFL experiences and expanded presence and preference for NFL-related transactions through various sales channels.

"The NFL is the premier professional sports League in the United States, and its popularity delivers an unprecedented passionate audience, and a wide range of events that appeal to virtually every demographic," said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer, Visa Inc.

"The NFL's numbers speak for themselves in terms of interest, viewership and attendance. We know from our own research that this sponsorship generates transactions, builds our brand and allows us to deliver our key messages of superior convenience, acceptance and security. Furthermore, the NFL partnership provides a powerful platform for us to emphasize to millions of fans the benefits of making everyday purchases with a Visa card over cash or checks."

Lucio added, "The NFL partnership allows our clients and partners to participate in business building activities and provides Visa cardholders with programs that tap their passion for football."

"Since our relationship began more than 14 years ago, Visa has been one of the League's most supportive, collaborative and innovative partners," said Mark Waller, Chief Marketing Officer, NFL. "Year after year, Visa utilizes its assets in new ways that bring value to their stakeholders and reinforce its commitment to the NFL. We are truly excited to have the opportunity to build upon our long-standing relationship and have Visa on our team."

Integrated Marketing Campaign

Visa's league and team sponsorships provide a wide range of benefits - including access to the Super Bowl, the NFL Pro Bowl and the NFL Draft - to connect with Visa cardholders and drive value for financial institution clients, merchant partners and shareholders. Visa's NFL integrated marketing campaign for the 2009 season includes NFL-themed advertising, the fifth season of its financial literacy program tailored to students - Financial Football, and client and team marketing programs. Visa will continue to implement national usage promotions and once-in-a-lifetime NFL experiences, such as ticket and game day packages, to connect with NFL fans and bring them closer to their favorite teams.

National Advertising

In the coming weeks, Visa will unveil an NFL-themed national television advertising campaign with extensions across multiple environments. Throughout the season, print advertisements will also appear in in-stadium game day team programs of Visa-sponsored teams as well as in Pro Bowl and Super Bowl programs.

Digital advertisements highlighting Visa's national promotion and unique merchant offers will also appear throughout the season across a variety of websites including,,, and, among others.

For the fifth consecutive season, Visa also presents the Visa Halftime Report on FOX NFL broadcasts to further reinforce the company's association with the league with millions of television viewers.

Client Marketing & Merchant Offers

Visa's NFL campaign includes participation from financial institution clients that issue Visa cards and merchant partners that accept them. Visa's marketing support for financial institution clients includes participation in the national promotion, access to Visa's unique NFL experiences, and other customized promotional opportunities.

In the current financial year alone, 600 financial institutions and merchants utilized Visa's sponsorship of the NFL and generated 32 million pieces of communication for their customers.

Visa has also worked with its network of merchant partners to provide exclusive offers that help fans prepare for game and get the most out of their football experience. By visiting, Visa cardholders are able to save at popular merchants including, Finish Line, Crutchfield and Omaha Steaks through February 2010.

Team Marketing Programs

Team marketing activation includes Visa Signature cardholder offers, point-of-sale materials, in-stadium signage, public address announcements and cardholder incentives such as discounts and offers in stadium. Visa's roster of NFL team relationships includes the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

This month, San Francisco-based Visa also became the official sponsor of the San Francisco 49ers practice jersey for the 2009 season.

Promotions & Card Marketing Programs

Visa has also unveiled an NFL-themed national promotion and several card marketing initiatives this season enabling financial institution clients to strengthen relationships with their cardholders. Programs include:


  • Mega Fan Giveaway National Promotion - When cardholders use their Visa card between September 10 and November 30, 2009, they will be automatically entered for a chance for themselves and three friends to win the Mega Fan Giveaway to three of the biggest events of the NFL season -- a 2009 NFL Playoff game, 2010 NFL Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl XLIV. The winner and three friends attending the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV will be a part of all the exciting action including meet and greets with an NFL player and tickets to the official NFL Tailgate Party. They will also get pre-game field access at Super Bowl XLIV - a unique experience brought to them by Visa. The prize package will include game tickets, airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations, and NFL-themed Visa Gift cards. Official Rules are available at No purchase or obligation necessary to enter or win.
  • Visa Signature - Visa has created exclusive offers for Visa Signature cardholders, including VIP packages to attend the NFL Kickoff, the NFL International Series Game in London, 2010 NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV. Visa has worked with card issuing financial institution clients to utilize Visa's team sponsorship assets and provide Visa Signature cardholders with unique experiences that bring them closer to their favorite NFL team leading up to and during the season. All offers are subject to availability. Details regarding ongoing Visa Signature offers are available at
    • Exclusive Visa Signature packages have been created to enable NFL fans to attend the NFL Kickoff, the NFL International Series Game in London, 2010 NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV. Prior to the season, Cardholders also had presale access to 49ers tickets and training camp, Patriots tailgate and ticket packages.
    • Throughout the season, Visa also provides cardholders with special prizes for showing their Visa Signature cards at select home games for the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots.


Visa Signature helps cardholders get the most out of life with a range of benefits that save time and money. In addition to a choice of numerous airline, hotel and other premium reward partners, Visa Signature offers access to around-the-clock complimentary concierge services; epicurean events; premium merchant offers; a chance to get access to exclusive events such as the Olympic Games, NFL Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby; and preferred access and seating at local sporting events, concerts and movie screenings.

Financial Football

For the fifth consecutive year, Visa, has teamed up with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS to help high school and college students take control of their financial future. Financial Football is a free money management computer game and the centerpiece of a nationwide initiative to promote financial literacy.

Visa has partnered with 23 state governments to distribute the Financial Football game to 12,000 high schools. Financial Football has been rolled out statewide to every public high school in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Since the inception of the program, Visa has presented Financial Football to almost 6,000 students in live classroom settings, and distributed approximately 30,000 interactive CDs to teachers, parents and young adults. The online version of the game, available at, has been played more than 350,000 times.

Visa also extended the reach of its program to educate another group of young adults entering the workforce and ensure they are armed with the necessary tools and knowledge to manage their money and succeed later in life - the 2009 class of NFL rookies. For the second consecutive year, Visa presented Financial Football to more than 250 rookies during the annual 2009 NFL Rookie Symposium to reinforce the importance of financial literacy and teach the basics of managing credit.

About Visa

Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

For more information, visuals, executive interviews/press only:

Nancy Panter     Jamie Soper
Visa Inc.     Fleishman-Hillard for Visa Inc.
415.932.2123     415.318.4184


Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections. These statements can be identified by the terms "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will" and similar expressions which are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any underlying assumptions are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements regarding certain of Visa's goals and expectations with respect to adjusted earnings per share, revenue, adjusted operating margin, and free cash flow, and the growth rate in those items, as well as other measures of economic performance.

By their nature, forward-looking statements: (i) speak only as of the date they are made, (ii) are not guarantees of future performance or results and (iii) are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict or quantify. Therefore, actual results could differ materially and adversely from those forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including all the risks discussed in Part 1, Item 1A - "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2008. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements, which speak only as of the date of this presentation. Unless required to do so under U.S. federal securities laws or other applicable laws, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Visa Inc.

Visa Inc.
Nancy Panter, 415-932-2123
Fleishman-Hillard for Visa Inc.
Jamie Soper, 415-318-4184