Another even-numbered year brings another Olympics. And another Olympics brings another advertising push from Visa, which has been a sponsor of the games for more than 20 years.
With the Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. coming in February, Visa has launched its first global marketing campaign touting its sponsorship. The initiative, which builds on the "Go World" effort the company employed in the U.S. in 2008, features television, digital and out-of-home advertising.
"[Go World] was a successful campaign for Beijing, and we're building on that," Jennifer Bazante, head of global brand marketing, tells Marketing Daily. "The Olympics is a global property and Visa is a global brand."
The campaign includes several different facets, all linked by an icy blue hue. (Visa's "Go World" advertising in 2008 featured a gold tone.) One television spot has already launched in the U.S. The spot shows still photos of athletes competing in various Winter Games sports, while touting a promotion in which consumers using their Visa cards through the end of the year will qualify to win a trip for four to the Vancouver games (including airfare, hotel and event tickets).
A second spot featuring iconic Olympic moments (such as the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Hockey team) will air later in the year. Ads will also air during the games in February. Like the brand's "More people go with Visa" brand campaign, elements of the Go World campaign will be localized for key markets such as Canada, Russia, Japan, Korea, China and Latin America.
In addition to the television ads, Visa has created an extensive Web site that features Visa-sponsored athletes such as Julia Mancuso (alpine skiing), Lindsey Jacobellis (snowboard), Ryan St. Onge (freestyle skiing and aerials), Angela Ruggiero (ice hockey) and Paralympic athlete Alexi Salamone. The site features athlete stories, training videos, photos and song playlists available for purchase. Athlete widgets are also available for download and posting on social media sites. The online content will be customized for Canada and Russia, featuring athletes from those countries as well. "Always at the heart of the Olympics are the athletes and the athletes' stories," Bazante says. "The engaging stories are an important part of that."
Visa has been a sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1986. The company recently renewed its sponsorship through 2020. "The International Olympic Committee has been a fantastic partner, and we continue to see the value and the relevance of the partnership," Bazante says.