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.


‘Fuel of the future’ comes of age as Aramco opens first hydrogen filling station

Updated 3 min 11 sec ago
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‘Fuel of the future’ comes of age as Aramco opens first hydrogen filling station

DUBAI: Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, cracked a joke in the Financial Times a couple of weeks ago.
“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and it always will be,” he wrote about the fuel that many experts agree could hold the key to the world’s energy problems.
It was a deliberate poke at those experts who think that the sheer logistics of hydrogen — generation, storage, and transportation — make it always an unlikely solution to global energy challenges.
Birol’s article was followed by a report from the IEA that put some meat on the bones of the argument that hydrogen is key to solving such problems as global warming and environmental degradation.
“The world has an important opportunity to tap into hydrogen’s vast potential to become a critical part of a more sustainable and secure energy future … The world should not miss this unique chance to make hydrogen an important part of our clean and secure energy future,” the report said.
That argument will get a critical boost today, when Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil company in the world, opens its first hydrogen fueling station in Dhahran Techno Valley, in the heart of the Kingdom’s oil producing region.
Aramco has partnered with Air Products, a US company that has been a pioneer in the use of industrial gases, to produce a filling station for hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
It is very much a test. “The collected data during this pilot phase of the project will provide valuable information for the assessment of future applications of this emerging transport technology in the local environment,” Aramco said when the project was first announced.
But it is something Aramco has been investigating for a long time. Ahmed Al-Khowaiter, Aramco’s chef technology officer, said: “The use of hydrogen derived from oil or gas to power fuel cell electric vehicles represents an exciting opportunity to expand the use of oil in clean transport.”
Hydrogen — essentially what is left when you take the oxygen out of water — has been recognized as a potential fuel source for many decades. Motor manufacturers developed a hydrogen motor engine 50 years ago, but the ease and accessibility of hydrocarbon fuels — oil, gas and coal — made it uneconomic to develop this technology beyond the prototype stage.
Now, as the debate over the role of hydrocarbons in the global environmental balance has become ever more intense, some experts, including Birol and other influential parts of the thought-leadership establishment, believe hydrogen is the next Big Thing in global energy trends.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) said recently that “green” hydrogen offers a solution to the world energy challenge, and that is the problem the theoreticians are struggling with: Hydrogen is released naturally in the process of burning hydrocarbons, but it is self-defeating, in an environmental sense. if you have to burn oil, gas or coal to produce it.
On the other hand, renewable sources, like sun, wind and water, do not produce enough hydrogen to be practically or commercially viable, and not at the right times, when people actually need it.
But, as the WEF noted recently “low-cost green hydrogen is coming”, as technology advances mean the cost of renewable energy falls dramatically each year. The Middle East already has a very big and very cost-efficient program for solar energy generation.
The other challenges lay in how to store and transport hydrogen. It can be loaded onto a tanker like LNG, or pushed through pipelines, but it would require a huge investment to change current logistics systems — essentially designed for oil and LNG — to handle hydrogen.
Many countries, including Saudi Arabia, already have the infrastructure associated with oil and gas refining and petrochemicals production to be able to equip “hydrogen hubs,” as long as there is government will and commercial incentive to do so.
For the Kingdom, it looks like a no-brainer for the future. As Birol said: “So, hydrogen offers tantalising promises of cleaner industry and emissions-free power. Turning it into energy produces only water, not greenhouse gases. It’s also the most abundant element in the universe. What’s not to like?”