Aug 21, 2008

Mktg - Visa leads marketers sponsoring London Olympics

Visa will be the title sponsor of a party in London on Aug. 24 as part of official "handover" ceremonies when members of the Beijing Olympic Committee present the Olympic flag to London mayor Boris Johnson during a globally televised event.

A Visa London 2012 Party on The Mall will include Olympic star Michael Phelps, who counts Visa among his marketing partners; reps from other International Olympic Committee marketing partners; and 40,000 people who will gather in front of Buckingham Palace to take part in the festivities.

Visa will support the handover and subsequent 2012 Olympic Games with an international multimedia push. Marketing also includes a "See the world, visit London" campaign from U.K. tourism group Visit London. The effort, via RKCR, London, will include a 60-second spot in which a line is superimposed on the Earth, trekking the journey from Beijing to London. The spot will be seen in the U.S., China, Great Britain and elsewhere. Support includes several print ads in which the Earth has been morphed into various objects that represent London's music, shopping and theater districts.

In addition, a TV spot from the London Olympic organizing committee includes consumer-generated clips showing Londoners celebrating in anticipation of the 2012 Games. Visit London estimates that tourism prior to and during the 2012 Olympics could bring in more than $4 billion.

"We have been building relationships in Vancouver [site of the 2010 Winter Olympics] and London for several years," said Antonio Lucio, global CMO at Visa, San Francisco. "Marketing [for the London Olympics] will start even as the lights are going out in Beijing."

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