A US-based financial services company specializing in payment systems, the processing of credit card and debit card payments between the banks of suppliers and the banks of consumers; it was founded in 1966, and has used sport as a way of building its brand in a highly competitive market. ‘Master Charge: The Interbank Card’ became simply ‘MasterCard’ in 1979, and the company bought up the UK's Access Card and the Eurocard brand: under its more globally embracing new name ‘MasterCard Worldwide’, the company became a publicly traded company in 2006. In that forty years of success and growth, MasterCard has successfully used sport as a way of building and consolidating its brand. Its overlapping two-sphere logo on the card resonates with sporting imagery, particularly of ball games such as football, and, though unstated, its expanded logo in 2006 with a third overlapping circle increasingly evokes the internationalism of the five rings of the International Olympic Committee (MasterCard is not, though, one of its sponsoring partners); it can be read as embracing the company's three primary markets of the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Its ‘Priceless’ advertising campaign with the line ‘There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard’ was launched during the (baseball) World Series in 1997. It has targeted sponsorship deals with the major football bodies and tournaments: the European football confederations' Euro competition for national sides, the UEFA Champions League, and the men's World Cup (though Visa, in ethically contentious behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, replaced MasterCard as World Cup sponsor in 2007). Other sponsorship deals embodying MasterCard's global reach have included contracts with the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians, the Australian national cricket team, and Canadian ice hockey.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.