Visa Links With News Int’l Over Olympics & Team 2012

It’s not just campaign longevity, but also depth and breadth of exposure that many sponsors are attempting to maximise in order to get the best value out of their rights. For example Visa Europe, an official sponsor of London 2012 and also presenting partner of (Britain’s) Team 2012, recently signed a multimillion pound deal with media giant News International in order to further lengthen the reach of its sponsorship deals.


News International’s titles will become official newspapers of the British Olympic team and will have privileged access to many British athletes including in-demand starts such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis and swimmer Rebecca Adlington.


The company’s newspapers – including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and The News Of The World, papers will launch an associated promotional campaign and the agreement includes both editorial and advertorial content within the agreement. In return for the access to its ambassadors and for its content, Visa will get ad space in the titles.


The partnership will give News International valuable Olympic-related content for its editorial pages and the aim is that it will further reinforce Visa’s message, as well as provide an additional boost for the British Olympic Team. The deal’s aim is to further promote Team 2012 and galvanise the British public to get behind and support more than 1,200 athletes from 47 Olympic and Paralympic sports and disciplines.


Over the next 18 months News International will undertake a multi-channel campaign featuring Team 2012 to engage their audiences to get behind each of the athletes, their sports and their personal stories as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Mariano Dima, Chief Marketing Officer at Visa Europe, said: “Visa celebrates 25 years of sponsoring the Olympic Games this year and in the run-up to 2012 we are committed to enabling consumers, members and retailers to connect with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in innovative ways. This wide-reaching partnership with News International enables us to engage with a large audience across a variety of channels. This is part of our integrated marketing programme which we will roll out in the next few months across the UK and Europe, using our sponsorship to drive brand preference and card usage.”
Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive of News International, said: “This unique partnership gives our newspapers unrivalled access to the Team 2012 athletes and means we will be able to throw our full support behind the team and give our readers the inside track. We are delighted to be working with Visa Europe to generate maximum public support for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”


Phil Lane, chairman of Team 2012, said “News International’s online and offline portfolio will deliver widespread national awareness of Team 2012 and enlist the nation’s support in our campaign to raise vital funds to help provide our talented and dedicated athletes with the best possible chance at glory at London 2012.”




Partnerships are increasingly popular when it comes to maximising reach and value. How this particular tie-in will evolve remains to be seen. It will be particularly interesting to watch how it rolls out across owned websites and social media considering News International’s decision to go behind an online pay wall?


Furthermore, the alliance could be put under tensions and strain if the newspaper group’s reporter uncover negative stories about the event or even members of Team 2012 themselves.







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