Visa Olympic partnership comes full circle in Pyeongchang

AP
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The Pyeongchang Winter Games mark the 30th anniversary of Visa’s Olympic partnership, a run that has and should continue to produce plenty of highlights.

The slogan “Everywhere you want to be” has been joined with the Olympic Movement for three decades.

Famous Visa commercials included the Dream Team, Michael Phelps swimming across the Atlantic Ocean, the velvety voice of Morgan Freeman and U.S. women’s ski jumpers fight for equality.

In 2018, Visa will head back to where it all started in South Korea.

“Our first [Summer] Games were the Seoul Games in 1988,” said Chris Curtin, ‎Visa’s Global Head of New Platform Marketing Transformation and Chief Digital Officer. “So, we’re kind of coming home in our own way to South Korea after 30 years of having a relationship with the IOC.”

Visa, the official payment technology partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the only payment card accepted at Olympic venues, will debut an interactive shopping experience for fans in Pyeongchang and for viewers back home.

“We gear up for the Games just like these athletes do,” Curtin said. “It’s nothing short of a Herculean effort.”

At the Olympics, which open Feb. 9, fans can make purchases with wearable payment devices — gloves, commemorative stickers and Olympic pins.

For those watching via NBC Olympics, Visa Checkout will offer a first-time, real-time experience.

Viewers will be directed to a newly launched digital platform where they can browse and buy gear from the Team USA Shop worn by athletes from the ice and snow to the medal podium.

“When you see your favorite U.S. athlete, and you are like, gosh, I wish I had that USA vest or USA shirt, we’re going to offer that up on the website, and you can buy that in real time,” Curtin said.

Another round of Visa’s memorable Olympic commercials will debut over the next two months, featuring athletes such as the Nigerian bobsled team. No African nation has competed in Olympic bobsled before.

“There’s a World’s Fair element to the Olympics that allows for if not begs for brands like Visa to showcase their best,” Curtin said. “The Olympics are important to us because they share a lot of the same attributes that we do. They’re global in nature. They stand for and recognize excellence. There’s a sense of nationalism, but, frankly, they all live in a village together.”

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