Consumer Payment Card News

VISA NFL Incentives

America’s premier mall owner and operator, America’s most popular credit card and America’s favorite sport and have joined forces in an effort to generate enthusiasm for the upcoming 1998 National Football League season and sales of NFL licensed merchandise through Simon retailers. Simon Brand Ventures, a strategic marketing initiative of Simon DeBartolo Group, Visa U.S.A. and the National Football League have agreed to an integrated mall promotion campaign to target NFL fans at the retail level nationwide.

The Simon portfolio will serve as the channel for Visa’s new in 131-mall retail promotion — “Kickoff 98” — and includes a series of interactive on- site events for Simon shoppers in ten NFL markets which debuts at the Mall of America in Minneapolis on September 5. The promotion includes a consumer promotion/gift-with-purchase and interactive NFL events, as well as a national consumer sweepstakes.

“Simon’s relationship with Visa and the NFL demonstrates that powerful brands are selecting the mall environment to drive brand loyalty and sales,” said Karen Corsaro, president, Simon Brand Ventures. “Simon properties as a venue for the NFL and Visa will enable America’s favorite credit card and America’s favorite sport to impact consumers directly at the point-of-sale.” The components of “Kickoff 98” include:

Gift-with Purchase: From September 1, 1998 through October 31, 1998, while supplies last, consumers will receive a free commemorative NFL “Kickoff 98” watch with a minimum $25.00 purchase of NFL-licensed merchandise using their Visa card.

NFL Experience: This season, the league’s renowned NFL Experience events will visit Simon malls in 10 NFL markets with interactive games, celebrity appearances and local prize giveaways. Following is the tentative schedule for appearances and corresponding NFL home teams:

Minnesota Vikings
Mall of America
Bloomington, MN
September 5

Indianapolis Colts
Lafayette Square
Indianapolis, IN
September 12

Chicago Bears
Lincolnwood Towne Center
Lincolnwood, IL
October 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyrone Square
Tampa, FL
October 10

Jacksonville Jaguars
The Avenues
Jacksonville, FL
October 11

New York Jets
Smithhaven Mall
Lake Grove, NY
October 17

New York Giants
Newport Center
Jersey City, NJ
October 18

Green Bay Packers
Forest Mall
Fond-du-lac, WI
October 19

Pittsburgh Steelers
Ross Park Mall
Pittsburgh, PA
October 24

Dallas Cowboys
Irving Mall
Irving, TX
October 26

Consumer Sweepstakes Support: “Kickoff 98” will also support a 1998 Visa NFL consumer sweepstakes through retail signage and usage. The promotion will drive Visa card usage by offering cardholders the chance to win an NFL season of their own making, using their Visa cards between September 1, 1998 and January 31, 1999. One cardholder will win trips for two persons to eight 1999-2000 regular season games of their choice, plus a trip to Super Bowl XXXIV. Each trip includes travel, hotel accommodations, two tickets, and free NFL merchandise.
“Kickoff 98” is one example of the many ways Visa supports its network of accepting merchants. This NFL season, Visa is continuing its commitment to the retailer community by recognizing merchants who develop NFL-related promotions through the “Visa ALL-PRO Dedication & Commitment Award for Excellence in Merchandising” and utilization of Visa in a promotion. Visa and the NFL will once again recognize and reward outstanding retail marketing programs at the end of the season. The winner will be nationally recognized through advertising and publicity following the announcement.

“This alliance demonstrates Visa’s commitment to reaching NFL fans everywhere they come into contact with the game,” said Rob Robins, executive vice president, Market Development & Acceptance, Visa U.S.A. “When consumers travel to Simon DeBartolo Group malls this season, they’ll know that the ‘NFL prefers Visa’.”

“Kickoff 98” is a component of Visa’s 1998-99 NFL marketing program, which targets “Real NFL Fans.” Visa, in its fourth year as an official NFL partner, is adding title sponsorship of FOX’s nationally televised “Visa Half-time Report” to a program that includes national advertising/consumer promotions, retail components, league support and national fan contests.

Visa’s NFL partnership is part of an event-marketing portfolio that includes the Olympics, NASCAR (effective January 1999), and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge. These partnerships combine to deliver a continuous stream of Visa exposure throughout the marketing calendar.

Simon DeBartolo Group, Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust which, through its subsidiary partnerships, is engaged primarily in the ownership, development, management, leasing, acquisition and expansion of income- producing properties, primarily regional malls and community shopping centers. It currently owns or has an interest in 216 properties containing an aggregate of 139 million square feet of gross leasable area in 34 states. Simon DeBartolo Group, together with its affiliated management company, owns or manages approximately 154 million square feet of gross leasable area. Simon DeBartolo Group is the largest publicly traded retail real estate company in North America as measured by market capitalization and currently has approximately 177.7 million shares and partnership units outstanding. Additional Simon DeBartolo Group information is available on the company’s website at

Visa is the leading card brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 15 million worldwide locations, including more than 400,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is

“Visa NFL Sweepstakes 1998” Rules

No purchase or obligation necessary. Open to legal U.S. residents, 18 and older as of 9/1/98. Sweepstakes begins 9/1/98 and ends 1/31/99. To enter without a purchase, hand print your name, address, city, state, zip, day and evening phone numbers and the words “Visa NFL Sweepstakes” on a 3″x5″ card and mail in a #10 envelope to: Visa NFL Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 4024, Grand Rapids, MN 55730-4024. Enter as often as you wish, but all entries must be mailed separately and not mechanically reproduced. All entries must be postmarked by 1/31/99 and received by 2/8/99. Sweepstakes subject to complete official rules, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-VISA-511 or by sending a self- addressed, stamped envelope to “Visa NFL” Rules, P.O. Box 5000, Manhasset, NY 11030. Residents of VT & WA may omit return postage. Void where prohibited. Prizes/Value: (1) Grand Prize trip for two to 8 regular 1999 season NFL games and a trip for two to Super Bowl XXXIV and $5,000 cash/$40,000. Odds of winning depend on total number of eligible entries received.

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