The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has signed a major sponsorship deal with the global leader in payments VISA to sponsor the continent’s flagship football competition the Africa Cup of Nations.
The massive sponsorship deal, which was sealed yesterday in the Ghanaian capital Accra, was a major success for CAF President Ahmad Ahmad as the reforms he had embarked upon since taking charge of of the continental body two years ago was beginning to bring the desired benefits.
The major American company will bring its global brand and technology to African football as it will sponsor the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in 2019 and 2021.
The gravitas of VISA shows the corporate world’s instant endorsement of CAF’s recent improvements both on off the field which is bringing major global companies to sponsors African football.
The sponsorship deal will make the payments giant the exclusive payment services provider at all venues during the Total AFCON tournaments in 2019 and 2021 and will be the preferred payment option for tickets bought both in-person and online.
In addition, Visa will be the official partner of the player escort programme, giving over 1,100 children the opportunity to lead their football heroes out at the Total AFCON matches.
Visa has a long and proud history of supporting football, having been a sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 2007.
Coming off the back of a successful 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign in Russia and with preparations underway for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, this association builds on Visa’s strategy to bring the best of their sponsorship experience on the global stage to regional tournaments.
VISA association with CAF shows that global companies are not associating African football to some of the biggest sponsorship properties in the world as reforms have seen the expansion of the competition as well as administrative changes that fostered the positive changes.
“The benefits of investing in African football are clear to see, and with football being the number one passion of consumers across the continent we’re delighted to welcome Visa as a sponsor of the Total AFCON tournament,” Ahmad Ahmad CAF President said at the unveiling on Monday.
“Through this partnership with CAF, Visa will be able to connect further with its customers and leverage CAF as an innovative marketing platform.
“Africa is now more connected than ever before, and Visa’s payment network will play a vital role in reaching and rewarding fans across the region. I’m certain that together we will take African football to the next level.”
VISA hailed the progress African football has made noting that the strength of the game in Africa convinced them to seal the deal brokered by Lagardère Sports.
“Football is the most popular sport in the world with an estimated 4 billion fans and the sport intrinsically aligns with Visa’s values of acceptance and inclusion,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), Visa.
“The Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament is arguably the most important football event in our region where the best of African football comes together.
“We are very proud to begin our association with CAF, Lagardère Sports and the Total AFCON tournament to support the growth of football in our key markets.
“Being the exclusive payment services partner at some of the biggest global sporting properties in the world has enabled us to showcase the latest in payment innovation on a global stage and has had a demonstrable impact on the fan experience and local merchant environment.
“We are looking forward to a very big summer in 2019 where through our sponsorship of two of the largest football tournaments in the world, we can connect football’s most passionate and engaged audiences through our powerful, reliable and secure payment network and create unique and unforgettable experiences for global football fans, cardholders and clients alike,” said Torre.