SAN FRANCISCO, Jul 11, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visa, a proud sponsor of the Olympic Games for 25 years, announced today that it will sponsor four new U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls on their journey to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Jessica Long (Paralympic swimming), Lopez Lomong (athletics), Alana Nichols (wheelchair basketball) and Alicia Sacramone (gymnastics) join an elite group of longtime Visa-sponsored U.S. athletes that include Olympic champions such as Michael Phelps (swimming), Allyson Felix (athletics), Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball), Nastia Liukin (gymnastics), Katie Hoff (swimming) and Bryan Clay (athletics/decathlon). Visa is sponsoring a total of 10 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.
Visa-sponsored athletes and their inspiring stories will be featured prominently throughout Visa's Olympic-themed marketing campaign - Go World - to connect with cardholders and help drive preference for and usage of Visa products worldwide.
For 25 years, Visa has sponsored the Olympic Games and provides valuable marketing exposure and financial support to Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they pursue their dreams of competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Leading up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Visa will support more than 50 individual athletes including Olympic gold medalists Yelena Isinbaeva (Russia), Emanuel Rego (Brazil) and Valerie Adams (New Zealand) along with national teams from more than 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, South Africa and Russia.
"The Olympic and Paralympic Games begin and end with the athletes, and we're excited to add these four remarkable individuals to our growing roster of Visa-sponsored athletes," said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer and Global Head of Strategy and Corporate Development. "Building off our legacy of athlete support since 1986, we remain committed to helping Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls achieve their lifelong goals as they embark on the greatest athletic challenges of their lives."
Visa's athlete selection process is based on a variety of criteria including their personal journey to the Olympic or Paralympics Games, athletic achievements, dedication to developing their sports, and active community involvement.
"I'm thrilled to help Visa tell its Olympic story and join so many other world-class athletes who have benefited from Visa's support," said Olympic Silver Medalist Alicia Sacramone. "It takes tremendous commitment and sacrifice to become an Olympic athlete, but with Visa in my corner, I know I'm one step closer to achieving my dreams and succeeding on and off the field of competition."
For additional information, please visit http://www.visa.com/olympicmediakit.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit http://www.corporate.visa.com.
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
Nancy Panter, 650-432-1454