The credit card brand will become the “presenting partner” of the team of 1,200 British Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
Olympic bosses say the credit card brand’s sponsorship, which will run through to the London Games in 2012, will help with the “training and competition support needed for athletes aiming to become part of Team GB and Paralympics GB”.
The deal will help fill an estimated £50m hole in the funding of British athletes and, according to a statement, provide a “third stream” of private sector income alongside National Lottery and Government funding.
“The launch marks the start of a major long term fundraising drive through to 2012 and beyond,” the statement adds.
Team 2012 is a partnership between the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and UK Sport. The four bodies came together earlier this year to create this initiative for sponsors competing at the London 2012 games.
There had been some initial resistance from the agents of top athletes such as Sir Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington who were concerned that Team 2012 might affect image rights.
It has been reported that UK Sport reached an agreement after assuring athletes that no fewer than four athletes from a minimum of three sports will be used to promote Team 2012 or their sponsor in any marketing.
Visa has been a global partner of the Olympic movement for over twenty years.