Magazine article American Banker

Plus System Getting a Jump on the Olympics with Ads and a Contest

Magazine article American Banker

Plus System Getting a Jump on the Olympics with Ads and a Contest

Article excerpt

Plus System Inc., the global network of automated teller machines operated by Visa International, is taking advantage of the association's 1996 Olympic sponsorship early.

Rather than get lost in the shuffle of Olympic-related advertising next summer for the games in Atlanta, Plus is running print ads and sponsoring a contest this month.

Ron Reed, vice president and general manager of Plus, disclosed that the network had allocated $1 million for the four-week campaign.

The expenditure "is significant for us," he said. Other sponsors, including Visa, will be spending much more, Mr. Reed noted. "We didn't want to get washed out by the big blitz of ads next summer."

Industry watchers said Plus' early-start approach is a good one.

"If they don't have enough funds to sustain a program through the actual Olympic games next summer, it may well be smartest to do it now," said Jim Andrews, vice president of IEG Sponsorship Report, a Chicago newsletter.

"The Kodaks and Coca-Colas of the world have a lot of money and will be blanketing (advertising channels) with their promotions," Mr. Andrews added. "Not everyone can afford to compete with that."

The Plus campaign, which will run exclusively in USA Today, includes a week of teaser ads followed by three weeks of contest questions. The questions focus on former Olympic host cities and will rotate throughout the newspaper, in the Money, Lifestyle, Sports, and Travel sections.

Mr. Reed explained that USA Today was chosen because demographic research showed it to be the newspaper read by most international travelers to the United States. …

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