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Usain Bolt and Team Visa athletes to star in Visa Europe's "Flow Faster" 2012 Advertising Campaign.

As the countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games intensifies, Visa Europe this week unveils its new 2012 advertising campaign, featuring the ‘World’s fastest man’ Usain Bolt. The campaign marks the first appearance from Bolt in his role as Visa Europe Innovation Ambassador, supporting Visa Europe’s payments innovation programme. Visa will take the unique opportunity of London 2012 to showcase its payment innovations and The Games will be the first where consumers can choose not to bring cash at all but instead pay contactlessly with either their contactless card or a suitable NFC-enabled mobile phone.

The television commercial, which launches across Europe on Saturday 17th March, also includes cameo appearances from the athletes who are part of Team Visa Europe, a group of 20 top performing European athletes from nine different countries who Visa is supporting in their journey to competing at the London 2012 Olympic or Paralympic Games.

Set to the sound track of Hundred Mile High City by Ocean Colour Scene, the ‘Flow Faster’ advert depicts Bolt arriving at a London airport. As he stands at the luggage carousel, he’s not sure where his bags are but it’s clear he needs to get somewhere. Not so clear is why a seemingly ordinary member of the public is challenging him to a race. We then see Bolt and the man race across London with only Visa to help them. Through their purchases using Visa’s mobile, contactless and card services, Bolt is able to transform from a sharp suited traveler to being ready to race whilst the other man smartens up with the purchase of a blazer and tie.

Catching a glimpse of Bolt making the journey across London are Team Visa gymnast Louis Smith, BMX rider Shanaze Reade and boxer Khalid Yafai on a London bus and triple jumper Phillips Idowu getting his latest cut at the hairdresser alongside Taekwondo star Aaron Cook and Paralympic athlete Stefanie Reid.

As the race reaches its conclusion the two characters arrive at the Olympic Stadium. We cut inside to see Bolt as he settles into the starting blocks. He looks up and gives a wry smile as he realizes that his competitor across London was in fact the starter for the sprint.

As Bolt rises in the blocks and the starting gun fires, the camera pans out to reveal the London 2012 Olympic Stadium from above and the commercial closes with the words ‘Flow Faster with Visa’, reflecting the focus on speed and ease of the new ways to pay with Visa.

The campaign will bring The Games to life for consumers across Europe with promotions beginning at the same time via Visa Golden Space (www.visa.co.uk/goldenspace) offering the chance to win ticket packages to the London 2012 Olympic Games and other prizes via prize draw and instant win competitions.

During Games time, payments innovation will take centre stage as Visa Europe showcases its latest mobile payments technology as well as implementing contactless payments infrastructure across London and at the Olympic and Paralympic Games venues.

Mariano Dima, Executive Vice President of Product and Marketing Solutions at Visa Europe, said: “As the World’s fastest man, Bolt embodies speed, effortlessness and performance – the ability to deliver even on the World’s biggest stage.  Similarly for Visa Europe, London 2012 is a showcase for our latest payments technology including contactless and mobile payments, which will enable cardholders to experience a secure, reliable and fast payments infrastructure for The Games and beyond. Bolt is the perfect fit.”

Usain Bolt, Visa Europe Innovation Ambassador, commented: “London 2012 will be the world’s biggest sporting stage. I’ll be there with one goal in mind - to keep my title of The World’s fastest man. Everyone knows and trusts the Visa brand and now that they’re making payments even easier and faster it’s a natural fit for me to work with them in the run up to and during the greatest show on earth.”

 

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