Visa and NFL Take to Twitter For Super Bowl Branding

visaVisa has added a dash of Twitter to its 15-year relationship with the NFL. The three brands have partnered for a Super Bowl campaign dubbed “Go Inside Super Bowl XLV With Visa.”

A Promoted Trend ad on Twitter today with the copy “Go Inside SBXLV” points to a landing page with the following Promoted Tweet: “Who knows what’s going on inside the Super Bowl right now? We do. You can too. #goinsideSBXLV”.

According to a Visa spokesperson, the ad will appear on four more days leading up to the Feb. 6 game. Viewers who click on the promo are taken to a microsite where they can see what NFL-related topics – such as “Steelers,” “Packers,” and “Super Bowl” – are trending.

Here’s a rundown of the microsite’s other major interactive elements:

– “Featured Tweets” include tweets from NFL executives, media personalities, Super Bowl players like Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers’s Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12), and Visa discount offers.

– “Pulse” visualizes the most-frequently tweeted words/phrases.

– “Map View” highlights which key words/phrases are being tweeted in various cities around the world.

– “Team Matchup” showcases the conversations happening on Twitter about the Steelers and Packers. It centers on a team-colored field that reflects the volume of team-related tweets and team-specific trending topics.

– “Timeline” lets users follow the conversation or trends on a particular day or during a specific part of the game. They will have the ability to replay the timeline leading up to and throughout the Super Bowl, while being able to see how the trends changed during the 11 days before the game.

– “Topic of the Day” consists of Super Bowl-themed questions or conversation-starters based on the contents of the tweets.

Financial terms of the Visa-NFL-Twitter partnership were not disclosed. For the Promoted Trend ad buy, it’s unclear whether Visa and the NFL are paying the usual $100,000 Twitter reportedly charges for the one-day, worldwide placement.

For Visa and the NFL, the integration appears to be driven by branding considerations. But if they were hoping to pick up a glut of new Twitter followers as a side benefit, the early results are sobering. Their @VisaNFL account had only picked up 124 followers as of 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing officer at San Francisco-based Visa Inc., characterized Twitter’s platform as a promising vehicle to reach sports fans. “Over the last year, we’ve seen Twitter at the center of fan engagement at the Visa-sponsored Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,” he said. “Learning from these experiences, we have worked with Twitter and the NFL to bring the world’s conversation about Super Bowl together in one place.”

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