Visa Inc. Expanding Global Football Portfolio Partnerships

File photo showing Visa logo. (Reuters)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Visa Inc. Expanding Global Football Portfolio Partnerships

  • Visa is partnering with the UEFA Women’s Football Competitions through 2025
  • These tournaments present an opportunity for the brand to build upon its success of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

SAN FRANCISCO: Visa, the Official Payment Services Partner of FIFA, has announced partnerships with the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) Women’s Football Competitions and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament to evolve its sponsorship portfolio and connect with fans around the world. Leveraging its sponsorship expertise and success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, Visa will implement its innovative payment technology at the tournament venues and deliver exclusive experiences for cardholders and clients. By tapping into the strength of the Visa brand and its influential role for fans in football, Visa will help to further elevate women’s football and these regional tournaments.
"Visa has strategically positioned itself at the center of football and these events will further exemplify the unique experiences only Visa can provide to fans across the globe," said Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer, Visa Inc. "These tournaments allow us distinctive opportunities to showcase Visa’s payment innovation, strengthen partnerships and highlight our evolved offerings to clients and fans."
Visa is partnering with the UEFA Women’s Football Competitions through 2025 to continue its efforts to inspire and empower women, as women’s football continues to grow at all levels. Through its partnership, Visa will collaborate with UEFA for the 2021 Women’s European Championships in the United Kingdom and the annual Women’s Champions League beginning in 2019. Complementing the national team tournament with the world’s finest club competition allows Visa to be at the center of women’s football and strengthens its efforts around diversity, acceptance, and inclusion leading up to the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™.
Visa also announced its partnership with CAF as a sponsor of the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in 2019 and 2021. The deal will make Visa the exclusive payment services provider at all venues and the official partner of the player escort program. With CAF, Visa will be able to capitalize on football’s popularity throughout the continent, tap into high-growth markets and continue to deliver exclusive benefits to its local communities, clients, partners and fans as they come together to support the best of African football.
Visa, a FIFA partner since 2007, continues to drive toward new payment innovation that provides fans with faster and enhanced experiences at checkout. Whether it be remote and mobile ticket purchasing, contactless payment technology at transit locations, in-seat ordering or new ways to pay for retail, Visa will utilize its transit, retail and commerce expertise to deliver innovative payments that reimagine the fan experience.
These tournaments present an opportunity for the brand to build upon its success of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Visa brought contactless payment technology to 12 tournament stadiums and curated unforgettable experiences for more than 250 clients and 3,000 consumers who traveled from over a hundred different countries. In 103 markets around the world, Visa partnered with more than 500 issuers and 40 merchants in 24 languages on a variety of FIFA-related activities, whether to run custom marketing programs, host in-market viewing parties or utilize Visa’s exclusive marketing campaign assets to drive mutual business priorities.
Following the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ Draw on December 8, Visa will offer an exclusive opportunity for cardholders to be the first fans to purchase individual match tickets for the tournament. The exclusive presale phase will take place from December 10 through December 23 and tickets for all matches will be available. FIFA recently announced that 150,000 FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ tickets have been sold since package sales opened in September.


Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

Updated 15 February 2019
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Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

  • Saudi Arabia and UAE initiatives ‘driving forward industrial defense capabilities’
  • Budgets are increasing as countries pursue modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities

LONDON: Defense spending by Gulf Arab states is expected to rise to more than $110 billion by 2023, driven partly by localized military initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a report has found.

Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities, according to a report by analytics firm Jane’s by IHS Markit.

Military expenditure in the Gulf will increase from $82.33 billion in 2013 to an estimated $103.01 billion in 2019, and is forecast to continue trending upward to $110.86 billion in 2023.

“Falling energy revenues between 2014 and 2016 led to some major procurement projects being delayed as governments reigned in budget deficits,” said Charles Forrester, senior defense industry analyst at Jane’s.

“However, defense was generally protected from the worst of the spending cuts due to regional security concerns and budgets are now growing again.”

Major deals in the region have included Eurofighter Typhoon purchases by countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to “localize” 50 percent of total government military spending in the Kingdom by 2030, and in 2017 announced the launch of the state-owned military industrial company Saudi Arabia Military Industries.

Forrester said such moves will boost the ability for Gulf countries to start exporting, rather than purely importing defense equipment.

“Within the defense sector, the establishment of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) in 2017 and consolidation of the UAE’s defense industrial base through the creation of Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC) in 2014 have helped consolidate and drive forward industrial defense capabilities,” he said.

“This has happened as the countries focus on improving the quality of the defense technological work packages they undertake through offset, as well as increasing their ability to begin exporting defense equipment.”

Regional countries are also considering the use of “disruptive technologies” such as artificial intelligence in defense, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018.

The US was responsible for almost half that increase, according to “The Military Balance” report released at the Munich Security Conference and quoted by Reuters.

Western powers were concerned about Russia’s upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea, the report said, but added that “China perhaps represents even more of a challenge, as it introduces yet more advanced military systems and is engaged in a strategy to improve its forces’ ability to operate at distance from the homeland.”