VISA, the global leader in payments, will bring its global brand and technology to African football next summer as it officially announced its partnership with the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) as a sponsor of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in 2019 and 2021.
The sponsorship deal will make the payments giant the exclusive payment services provider at all venues during the AFCON in 2019 and 2021 and will be the preferred payment option for tickets bought both in-person and online. In addition, VISA will be the official partner of the player escort program, giving over 1,100 children the opportunity to lead their football heroes out at the AFCON matches.
VISA has a long and proud history of supporting football, having been a sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 2007. Coming off the back of a successful 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign in Russia and with preparations underway for the upcoming 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, this association builds on VISA’s strategy to bring the best of their sponsorship experience on the global stage to regional tournaments.
Ahmad Ahmad, President, Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) said, “The benefits of investing in African football are clear to see, and with football being the number one passion of consumers across the continent we’re delighted to welcome VISA as a sponsor of the Total AFCON tournament. Through this partnership with CAF, VISA will be able to connect further with its customers and leverage CAF as an innovative marketing platform. Africa is now more connected than ever before, and VISA’s payment network will play a vital role in reaching and rewarding fans across the region. I’m certain that together we will take African football to the next level.”
“Football is the most popular sport in the world with an estimated 4 billion fans and the sport intrinsically aligns with VISA’s values of acceptance and inclusion. The Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament is arguably the most important football event in our region where the best of African football comes together. We are very proud to begin our association with CAF, Lagardère Sports and the Total AFCON tournament to support the growth of football in our key markets,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), VISA.
“Being the exclusive payment services partner at some of the biggest global sporting properties in the world has enabled us to showcase the latest in payment innovation on a global stage and has had a demonstrable impact on the fan experience and local merchant environment. We are looking forward to a very big summer in 2019 where through our sponsorship of two of the largest football tournaments in the world, we can connect football’s most passionate and engaged audiences through our powerful, reliable and secure payment network and create unique and unforgettable experiences for global football fans, cardholders and clients alike,” said Torre.
With every global sponsorship, VISA has focused on supporting host markets by connecting more local merchants to VISA’s payment network so that the influx of global fans traveling to the sporting venues can make safe and convenient payments. VISA has also historically enabled cardholders to win the chance to attend matches, and while there, having the chance to experience new payment experiences that improve their onsite experience. Most recently at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans and merchants were able to enjoy and experience secure contactless payment technology that was rolled out at the 12 FIFA World Cup Russia stadiums.
VISA aims to leverage the AFCON platform to continue to deliver exceptional benefits to its local communities, clients, partners and fans as they come together to support the best of African football.