VISA has deepened its connections to the sporting space via an agreement with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), becoming a regional partner of the governing body.
The payments processing firm, headquartered in San Francisco, has become the exclusive payment services partner for the AFC Champions League in West Asia for the 2023/24 season and for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023.
Delivery of VISA’s digital payments services at AFC events will be a core focus of the deal, including the VISA Coin Toss and fan engagement contests which will enable football followers in West Asia to win pitch-side experiences.
“As a world leader in digital payments, Visa is proud to partner with the Asian Football Confederation,” said Tarek Abdalla, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer Visa Central Europe Middle East and Africa.
“This partnership not only underscores our commitment to bringing people together through the universal language of sports, but it also aligns perfectly with our mission to facilitate innovative, convenient, reliable, and secure digital transactions.
“We are excited to pave the way for the future of digital transactions at upcoming AFC events, offering a seamless and cashless experience for teams, and fans alike.”
VISA further emphasised that the partnership forms part of its wider ambition of investing in football and enhancing the fan experience for followers of the sport.
The West Asia-focused partnership with the AFC further strengthens the company’s connection to football in the region, having set up 5,300 contactless payment terminals at all venues during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year.
More broadly, the firm has produced engagement with sports – but particularly football – across multiple regions. Closer to home, VISA partnered with US Soccer earlier this year ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Datuk Seri Windsor John, AFC General Secretary, remarked: “We are delighted to welcome VISA as the AFC’s Official Regional Partner. This latest deal demonstrates the immense value and prestige of the AFC’s competitions, and we thank VISA for the confidence they have shown in Asian football.
“The passion for the beautiful game that exists in the West Asia region reaffirms that football is indeed Asia’s most popular sport, and we look forward to working in close partnership with VISA to create more historic moments for our fans.”