Olympians are counting their medals, but Visa is still waiting for the judges’ scores.
Visa went for gold-or-bust at the Rio Summer Games, both on the ground and on the airwaves, making a massive media buy for commercials as the exclusive payment provider for the Olympics.
In data compiled by iSpot.tv, Visa spent an estimated $32 million for 242 national airings of their commercials, reaching 416 million people during the Olympics. Putting that in perspective, the next four biggest banks and credit card campaigns combined for an estimated $27 million in ad spending over 182 national airings.
Visa’s most seen commercials highlighted Visa Checkout, the service designed to streamline online shopping experiences. The most aired commercial, which accounted for half of the national airings, featured Olympians making their way to Rio, paying for food and gas via chip, mobile, and NFC payment methods.
In terms of infrastructure on the ground, Visa installed and oversaw the entire Rio Olympics payment network, including the Olympic village, stadiums, and stores. The company also installed 4,000 terminals for mobile and wearable payments at Olympic venues, emphasizing Visa’s commitment to NFC technology.
Visa also gave tokenized contactless payment rings to Visa-sponsored Olympians to be used in the Olympic village. The ring is waterproof, doesn’t need charging, and once it’s set up, doesn’t need a mobile phone link. Visa announced yesterday that the ring is available for pre-order, running customers around $50.
The ring is another part of Visa’s spearheading into mobile payments, which already features Visa Checkout and Visa Token APIs.
“Visa’s first payment ring puts smart payment technology right on the hands of our athletes for convenient and easy payments,” said Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa. “This ring is the latest example of how Visa is continuously innovating to deliver on its goal of universal acceptance at the games and across the world.”