MC, Universal Said Close to Deal

By Lee, W. A. | American Banker, December 3, 2002 | Go to article overview

MC, Universal Said Close to Deal


Lee, W. A., American Banker


Is E.T. as good a buy as Mickey Mouse?

According to Monday's edition of Advertising Age, Vivendi Universal Entertainment's Universal Studios and MasterCard are close to signing a $100 million-$125 million multiyear contract that would give MasterCard many of the same perks that Visa will enjoy in its partnership with Walt Disney Co., which will start next month: preferred status at theme parks, rights to various icons, and possible media tie-ins.

A MasterCard spokesman said that the deal was "not anything we can comment on." Universal did not return phone calls.

Advertising Age said that MasterCard would use the Universal brand in its "Priceless" advertisements and might also get "first-look" rights to show MasterCard products in Universal movies and home videos. MasterCard would pay Universal $20 million-$30 million a year, plus a $10 million licensing fee, according to the paper, which is published by Crain Communications Inc.

Visa would not reveal the price tag on the Disney deal but compared it to its sponsorship of the Olympic Games, which, in the case of this year's Winter Games in Salt Lake City, cost the card company more than $55 million.

When Visa's Disney deal was announced in June, MasterCard said it had walked away from prior discussions with Disney. …

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