Visa FIFA World Cup™ 2010

342% ROI. Need we say more?

The job: To leverage a high value sponsorship property for the first time in the Host Market that would deliver against Visa’s business objectives in SA, create and embed Visa’s association with soccer for the first time, and, on a limited budget, generate a much greater share of voice than other key sponsors that held long term affiliation with FIFA and had exponentially larger budgets.

And it wasn’t only about the Tournament. It was the greatest opportunity to build a long-term domestic legacy for the brand, increasing share of voice, brand preference and loyalty all resulting in driving transactions and displacing cash.

Go early. Go large. Go Smart.

Strategic ideation started early, and was to be built around 4 key elements:

  • Owning the primary point of consumer contact: merchant and retail environment, using a BTL focused strategy rather than the traditional ATL-first approach.
  • Increase acquisition, usage and retention across products through the valuable pass-through rights to Visa’s Bank partners.
  • Mapping the touchpoints where visitors to South Africa were sure to travel: The Journey of the Fan.
  • Be inclusive and ensure that those traditionally excluded due to expensive ticket prices got to improve their financial literacy and share in the joy of their favourite sport.
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Merchant & Mall activations: Visa’s “home ground”

We created an opportunity for mall merchant stakeholders that would deliver benefits for Visa and all our partners, big or small. Creating ideal win-win scenarios.

Independent Merchants:

  • The Road to Glory: An 18-month merchant incentive programme that rewarded owners and their staff.
  • 16 500 independent merchants in 254 malls across 5 key cities.
  • An opportunity to update point of sale and acceptance signage, own pay points by providing POS kits of Visa FIFA branded items and ultimately, prior to the tournament turn shop windows and display touch-points into a continuous Visa presence in all participating stores and malls.

Strategic Mall partnerships: Always on side.

Visa became the enabler for malls and their tenants to associate with and activate the world’s greatest sports tournament, becoming an integral part of football fever.

  • 189 malls across 5 cities actively participated in a variety of ways, prioritized by scale, location and number of tenants
  • 24 pre-tournament Visa card usage promotions
  • 4 strategically located malls hosted bespoke tactical tournament activations

Mall Branding: 3rd Party Branding Toolkits

33 malls used toolkits created using FIFA 2010 imagery of the iconic World Cup trophy and the hugely popular tournament mascot “Zakumi”, on continuous display for 7 months, ensuring excellent brand presence during the build-up and throughout the tournament. The promotional spaces, traditionally paid for, were provided at no charge.

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Bespoke Mall Media Spaces: An OOH strategy with a difference.

47 malls. 11 470 bespoke media spaces. Free.

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Strategic Merchant Activations: Exclusive category partnerships to drive broader business objectives

9 country-wide promotional partnerships with national retailers in non-discretionary, habit- forming sectors where cash was still in a major form of payment, giving Visa a commercial opportunity to convert cash to card and in habit-forming sectors.

  • Pick n Pay
  • Clicks
  • Shell and Engen
  • Ackermans/Shoe City
  • Sneakers
  • ‘CNA
  • MTN
  • ACSA

Bank Activations: A strategic business opportunity.

Although FNB was the office Host Retail Bank of the 2010 FIFA World Cupä, all Visa-issuing banks in South Africa were afforded the privilege of activating against the FWC by virtue of Visa’s pass-through rights in the payment category.

  • 9 banks activated against the property over a 3-month period
  • 9 unique FIFA related card designs were issued for activation
  • Campaign objectives included acquisition, usage and retention across several Visa products and platforms – including Credit, Debit, Cheque, Small Business and Prepaid
  • Bank employees were engaged through motivational and educational drives that encouraged Visa card sales and created a strong association between Visa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The Journey of the Fan.

Start Local. Add Global.

With an 18-month campaign period forming a key part of our strategy, we needed to talk to the domestic market first, and then add relevant touchpoints and value for inbound visitors and fans arriving for the football tournament.


First impressions count. Visa accepted all over South Africa.

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Tourist Attractions: Amplification of Table Mountain partnership

We took our partnership with Table Mountain to new heights, always ensuring that Visa’s presence added value and didn’t distract from one of our most spectacular tourist attractions

Southern Sun Hotels

Southern Sun was the biggest hotel chain in South Africa and our partnership included brand association in 42 of their establishments.


The promotion with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) was also a new opportunity and naturally the focus was on both cross border and domestic cardholders. We entered into a relationship with ACSA’s retail team whereby they ran both the Visa/FIFA Merchant Incentive Programme and a four-month promotion over South Africa’s peak tourist season. This was run in both international and domestic airports.

Expanding Financial Literacy and inclusion through the FIFA Ticket Fund

FIFA provided 10 000 tickets across all matches. Visa’s existing financial literacy and inclusion programme was activated with strategic merchant partners Engen, Shell and the Southern Sun hotel group, ensuring that staff who would be serving domestic and international guests during the tournament the opportunity to attend matches at their local stadium.

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