Sponsorships offer opportunities for innovation

By Stephen Day, Head of Sponsorship

FIFA World Cup™ fever has officially begun! Following the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, broadcast from the Moscow Kremlin on Friday 1st December, we all now know who is playing who, where and when, in the group stages.

So far, nearly 750,000 tickets have been sold to fans around the world. Nearly 50% of that ticketing demand has come from the host country Russia. Other countries with high ticket sales include football loving nations Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States. So far, the nearly 750,000 tickets sold, have been to fans before they knew who, where or when their team would be playing (apart from Russia who have known when and where their group games will be).

The ticketing phase which is open on fifa.com between 5th December and 31st January will be the first opportunity that fans have had to apply for tickets with the full knowledge of the tournament draw. And with 14 of the 32 teams appearing in the tournament being European (including Russia), Visa expects a high proportion of upcoming ticket sales to be to European fans.

This summer Visa will bring 100% acceptance to all official FIFA venues in Russia. All point-of-sale terminals will accept Visa credit and debit cards as well as a range of digital payments, such as those made via phones or watches. Visa’s sponsorships offer an excellent opportunity to showcase our innovations and technologies. At the London 2012 Olympic Games for example, Visa introduced contactless mobile payments, while at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Visa unveiled the payment ring.

Similarly, we will use the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ as a platform for communicating Visa’s latest innovations to clients and consumers next summer.

As the Official Payment Service Partner of FIFA, Visa will be ready for the increase in expected international visitors to Russia. Based on spending trends and our recent research, we project that Russia will host an additional 300,000 to 500,000 international visitors during the FIFA World Cup™ months of June and July 2018. This will be in addition to the average 4.3 million international visitors to Russia during that same time period over the past four years. By far the largest share of travellers to Russia next summer, 69%, are expected to come from Europe, according to Visa research.

Based on historical data from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, we anticipate that Russia can also expect to see an increase in travellers’ spending. On average, visitors attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ spent 31 percent more per card than regular tourists in Brazil.

So, go to fifa.com/tickets to buy your ticket for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and if you plan to visit Russia next summer all you will need is your Visa card.