- Visa launched a World Cup campaign featuring soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimović, per a company press release. Ibrahimović, who plays as a forward for the L.A. Galaxy but won't be on an official team this year, will journey to the tournament's host country Russia while capturing the "fear of missing out" (FOMO) among millions of soccer fans.
- Ibrahimović will showcase the ease of Visa's contactless payment technology throughout his journey to the World Cup stage, along with behind-the-scenes footage of teams preparing for games. The brand will give fans in attendance a chance to pay for merchandise and concessions by providing 6,500 cashless payment rings, 30,000 payment bands and contactless cards.
- In what the company is calling a first for the financial services brand, five football, fashion and lifestyle influencers from around the world will play an integral role in the new global marketing campaign. The lineup includes Germany's freekickerz, Japan's Kotaro Tokuda, Mexico's Pamela Allier, Russia's Tatiana Vasilieva and the U.K.'s Chris MD. Visa is the official payment services partner of FIFA, which organizes the World Cup.
Visa's global marketing push ahead of the World Cup is aimed at making all fans feel like they're part of the tournament, even if they can't travel to Russia to experience games in person. Visa's "Ultimate FIFA World Cup FOMO" campaign is rolling out in 45 markets in 24 different languages and will include TV, print, digital and social efforts, which will likely extend the reach of its message that Visa is a leader in popularizing contactless payments.
Though leveraging social media influencers is new for the payments brand, that route will likely drum up stronger engagement among audiences that tune into the tournament on their mobile devices instead of traditional TV. The influencers will provide behind-the-scenes footage of the World Cup, keeping with the FOMO theme and giving viewers a glimpse into the festivities in Russia. Fans will get a chance to see the field, players warming up and other highlights, per Adweek.
Visa is smart to maximize on its partnership with the World Cup, as the tournament reaches one of the biggest audiences on multiple media platforms every four years. FIFA estimated that more than 1 billion fans watched the most recent final match between Argentina and Germany in 2014. An estimated 280 million people watched the games online or on a mobile device, indicating potential fan willingness to tune into exclusive sports content on mobile and learn more about Visa' new contactless payments tech.
This isn't Visa's first foray into promoting its payments tech during a major global sports event. The World Cup campaign follows Visa's marketing push for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. That effort also showcased cashless and contactless payment technology on wearable devices. Visa created special gloves, stickers and pins equipped with near-field communications (NFC) chips that let people at the games make payments by tapping the devices on special checkout equipment.