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Visa launches Olympic Mentors scheme

LONDON: Visa EU, a subsidiary of Visa International, has announced the launch of 'Team Visa', an integrated sponsorship programme across a number of European markets that combines the popularity and appeal of famous Olympic greats ('Olympic Mentors') with the positive influence they will have on the up and coming Olympic and Paralympic stars (Olympic 'Hopefuls').

Visa International is a worldwide Olympic partner and the exclusive payment card of next year's Olympic games in Greece. An official release informs that this is an expansion of Visa's commitment to the Olympic Movement, National Olympic Committees and national teams, which has been an important factor in ensuring the continuance and success of the Olympic Games.

Across Europe, Visa, in partnership with its member banks, will be supporting a large group of Olympic 'Hopefuls'. This refers to athletes with potential to get into their national teams for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games or Paralympic Games - through direct financial contributions. These can be used by the athletes to pay for their training and travelling expenses, as well as on-going advise and support from the Team Visa 'Mentors'.

Visa EU's executive VP relationship management and marketing Steve Perry said, "We are supporting Team Visa across Europe because the Olympics are all about having pride in your national team, about celebrating national differences and backing local heroes.

Some of the athletes in Team Visa in the UK are 400m Sprinter Daniel Caines who is ranked No.1 in Great Britain, Leanda Cave who became the first ever British female triathlete to win the World Triathlon title in 2002.

The release states that there is a perfect synergy between Visa EU's brand strategy of 'The Future Takes Visa' and supporting the Olympic Hopefuls through Team Visa - the up and coming athletes of the future. The Olympic Hopefuls are critical to the integration of the Olympics within 'The Future Takes Visa' as they provide the perfect link between the brand strategy and Olympic values.

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