San Francisco, January 26, 2004 – Visa USA and the National Football League today announced they have renewed their highly successful partnership through 2010. This six-year agreement extends Visa’s nine-year proud sponsorship of the NFL, and builds upon the relationship between America’s number one sports league and America’s leading payments brand.

The deal will continue to help Visa differentiate its brand and drive consumer preference and usage at the point of sale. The NFL is America’s leading sports property on all key measures – fans, TV ratings and audience reach. The league has 176 million fans – 74 million of whom describe themselves as ‘avid’ – which is more than twice any other sports league. Partnership with the NFL offers Visa and its Member financial institutions the ability to more effectively connect with critically important demographic groups.

‘Nothing brings people together like the NFL, which makes it an incredibly powerful marketing platform,’ said Michael Lynch, senior vice president, event and sponsorship marketing, Visa USA. ‘Through this sponsorship, we can bring the League’s many assets to all of our Member institutions and merchants to help them drive their business. Our ongoing association with the NFL will continue to strengthen Visa’s leadership position in consumers’ minds.’

‘This is the marriage of two great leadership brands and we’re looking forward to extending our relationship with Visa, one of our most valued partners,’ said John Collins, senior vice president, marketing and entertainment programming, National Football League. ‘Visa has a proven track record creating value through its integrated marketing efforts, and is among the best activators in the business. We thrilled to be able to join forces with one of the best marketers in the world through our collective advertising and promotional activities.’

As part of the sponsorship, Visa will continue to offer national pass-through rights to its Members and merchants. All Visa’s Member financial institutions will continue to have rights to all league assets such as the NFL shield logo, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and collective use of the 32 NFL team marks.

The renewal agreement also provides Visa with new and incremental value, including:

Exclusive ‘Only Visa’ acceptance for the Pro Bowl, the NFL Experience and other future initiatives; New marketing initiatives supported by the NFL, such as weekly usage promotions, Pro Bowl Balloting and Hispanic marketing; and,
Visa’s sponsorship of the NFL Kickoff Live event (young adult initiative).

Using the NFL sponsorship as a platform, Visa will continue developing fully integrated marketing programs each year, including advertising, promotions, online activation, and public relations. These marketing activities serve as powerful tools for approximately 14,000 Member financial institutions in the Visa system, driving activation, usage and consumer loyalty.

‘Visa is committed to providing business-building opportunities to drive Member bank profitability, and this partnership with the NFL does just that,’ said Lynch. ‘Many of our top Member institutions already have relationships with NFL teams, and this sponsorship provides them with a national dimension to their local-market efforts. More broadly, this deal gives all Visa Members new opportunities to build or customize their own usage promotions, employee incentive programs and customer relationships. Visa NFL promotions help drive volume during critical peak sales season – August through January.’

For further information please contact:

Joe Carberry
Visa USA
415 932 2164

Brian McCarthy
National Football League
832 214 1136