MASTERCARD ANNOUNCES EXTENSION OF UNPRECEDENTED COMMITMENT TO FOOTBALL’S FIVE MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENTS
Company to extend partnerships with 2006 FIFA World Cup‘, 2004 UEFA European Football Championship‘, UEFA Champions League, CONMEBOL Copa America and Copa Toyota Libertadores as part of integrated global marketing program
Berlin, Germany, 12 March 2003 – In an unprecedented integration of its global marketing initiatives, MasterCard International renewed its commitment to international football’s five most prestigious events, highlighted by the extension of its Official Sponsorships of the 2006 FIFA World Cup‘ in Germany and the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship in Portugal. The historic agreement was announced at a press event here today with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, UEFA President Lennart Johansson, Eugenio Figueredo, 1st Vice President of CONMEBOL and three-time FIFA World Cup champion and MasterCard’s global spokesperson, Pelé.
In addition to the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Football Championship, MasterCard International has extended its agreement as Official Sponsor for the UEFA Champions League (through 2006) and CONMEBOL Copa America (2004), and will continue its commitment to Copa Toyota Libertadores (2003).
As Official Sponsor of these five major properties, MasterCard’s exclusivity as the official payment system includes all real and/or virtual payment and/or account access systems (including credit cards, charge cards, ATM cards and networks, and travelers cheques).
MasterCard retains the rights to use the official marks, logos and designations of each of the five events in advertising, promotions and merchandising. Through the agreements, MasterCard also receives on-field perimeter signage – two boards at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, three at the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship, four double boards at the UEFA Champions League, four double boards at Copa America and four double boards at Copa Toyota Libertadores.
"MasterCard is proud of its continued relationship with the FIFA World Cup and we are excited to be integrating these five major events into one global marketing plan which demonstrates a renewed commitment to the sport of football," said John Stuart, Senior Vice President, MasterCard International.
"The alliances with FIFA, UEFA and CONMEBOL provide MasterCard with a platform to reinforce brand image and awareness, particularly in Europe where our long-standing strategic ally, Europay International, merged into the global organization as MasterCard's Europe Region less than one year ago," said Stuart. "At the same time, these agreements allow us to create business-building opportunities for member financial institutions at the global, regional – Europe and South America – and local levels in key markets such the host nation for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Germany," Stuart added.
Commenting on the long-standing relationship between MasterCard and FIFA and the FIFA World Cup, Mr. Joseph Blatter, President, FIFA, said, "There are some things money can't buy: A reliable partner for more than ten years to FIFA and the FIFA World Cup™ such as MasterCard is simply Priceless."
"'UEFA EURO 2004', one of the most important sporting events in the world, promises to be the most successful tournament ever to be held in Portugal," said Mr. Lennart Johansson, President, UEFA. "We are delighted that MasterCard - one of UEFA's partners since the UEFA European Championship of 1992 - has agreed to continue this partnership which is of great benefit to the European football family. The partnership with MasterCard for the next three seasons of the UEFA Champions League combines the excitement and success of the competition with the priceless values of this major international company. The renewed support and contribution of MasterCard towards European football, particularly as we enter an exciting time with a new competition format, is highly valued."
"Since its inception in 1916, the South American Football Confederation has celebrated great success -- not only on the field but also as a highly reputable organization known worldwide," said Mr. Eugenio Figueredo, 1st Vice President of CONMEBOL. "These successes have been made possible with the support of talented and dedicated players as well as solid and supportive sponsorships. For more than 12 years, MasterCard has played a big role as our official sponsor. Its constant valuable support allows us to continue enjoying great triumphs. The South American Football Confederation feels proud to be able to count on MasterCard as its traditional partner in the development of football in the region."
In addition to the high-profile properties, MasterCard has also enjoyed a long-standing relationship with football great Pelé. Pelé has made over 150 appearances worldwide in six regions on behalf of the company, helping spur the issuance of more than 2 million FIFA World Cup-themed affinity cards bearing his likeness. Furthermore, MasterCard and its member financial institutions have utilized Pelé in over 20 million cardholder inserts, mailings and promotional collateral materials.
"Historically, MasterCard has demonstrated a true commitment to promoting 'the beautiful game' around the world and I have been quite proud to be part of the MasterCard family," said Pelé.
In addition to its sponsorship of the five major football properties, MasterCard has assembled a portfolio of high-profile sports sponsorship assets to appeal to a broad range of members and consumers. These assets include: PGA and Senior PGA Tour; LPGA Tour; Major League Baseball; and The National Hockey League.
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro. With approximately 25,000 MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro members worldwide, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 45 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. With more than 30 million acceptance locations including 821,766 MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs around the world, no payment card is more widely accepted globally than MasterCard. For the year ended December 31, 2002, gross dollar volume exceeded US$1.14 trillion. MasterCard can be reached through its website at www.mastercardinternational.com