|Job||Visa’s European Head of Marketing|
2019 11 27 Retrieve
[How Visa are changing the landscape of women’s football] This is not a short-term thing. This is not something just to tick a box and to look good. I’m sure there’s a lot of these stories that people should know. Why don’t we create a Team Visa?
[The recruitment of the athletes in Team Visa shows that. After all, the players chosen to be part of this project are not all obvious choices] It would have been easy for us to just make Team Visa with players from England and France and we would have had 90% of the market. But we have Didem [Karagenc] representing Turkey, we have Ewa Pajor representing Poland – which is miles, miles, miles behind because the markets out there are not big in scale commercially. Kim represents Scotland. It’s not a market we would put up there because of the size of the market, but that’s precisely why she’s here. She’s a great player, by the way. We like the mix. Maybe it’s not perfect yet, but the intention is to keep adding and now we’re looking at who is missing
2019 12 03 Retrieve
[It’s important that people see more of these players than just their performances at the big events, or their final results on paper] The positive is that the interest is there. It’s just that we have not made it easy for that interest to find [its audience] and get across. There was a lot of visibility and if you read the audience numbers, they were impressive. But for us, the most important thing is what happened as of July 8, the day after the World Cup final. The interest is there, but we can’t have it just for one event every now and then. We are trying to fill a little bit of that gap so that there’s more content and more opportunities for people to engage with the football. There are very good games going on during the season, but if you are the casual fan, there’s nowhere to find that. That’s where we’re trying to help
2019 12 03b Retrieve
[Visa signed a seven-year deal with UEFA to sponsor all of their women’s competitions last December] This is not a short-term thing. This is not something just to tick a box and to look good. We’ve been involved in sports in many years and we’re not just looking for another property to sponsor, but we realised there was something missing. We want to drive positive change by treating women’s football how it’s meant to be
2020 02 27 Retrieve
[Life after football: How Visa is helping women succeed after playing days are over] We kept looking at other ways in which we could help. Speaking with Team Visa players, we spoke about how a football career is wonderful but with, as with any sport, the lifespan is limited. It’s not something you do for all your life, just a few years. It’s unlike men’s football, where you’re in a good position financially. It poses a difficult question for young girls who dedicate time to football rather than career or university. What can we do to change that situation?
[After testing the pilot with Kim Little in the United Kingdom, the aim is to roll it out to the wider continent, in keeping with its support of women’s football in Europe] If you are a pro, you have a lot of trades that we all need - you’re organised, committed, focused, know all about delivering expectations. It’s harder to translate that in a resume unless someone helps you.
We at Visa have a network so that more players around the world can take part in programmes like this. But we’re working with players as we can’t come up with this on our own. We’re catering to real people. Karen has created her new career, but wishes she had that support years earlier.
Kim is extremely excited, a mixture of humble and thankful to have the opportunity. She said, ‘I’ve never had this approach before, with a big company opening doors up’. It’s funny because we feel so lucky to have someone like her! She sees how this can help those behind her and younger girls. If you’re a young girl and you have talent, but you have to make a choice. Commit to playing professionally, or you finish studies and get a full-time job.
Today, the rational advice would be not to choose playing. There are no statistics, and I wish there was, but you can only imagine the thousands of girls that could have come up and been a professional footballer. Players who could make the sport better, by bringing their quality, more numbers, being a role model, bringing in more fans, sponsors, and so on. A lot is stopped at the beginning because of the lack of sustainability while they play and after they play. If this programme can help in some way, to make someone like Karen Carney a rule, not an exception. If someone goes on to work in human resources in a big company, that can also be inspiring. Today it’s an ‘or’ – playing or a career. We want it to be an ‘and’. Kim is excited about the effect it can have beyond herself