EVENTS & PROMOTIONS: PROMO SPOTLIGHT: COLD SPORTS GET EVEN HOTTER FOR VISA VIA USAHOCKEY DEAL

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Effort: Visa's sponsorship of USA Hockey for the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Marketer: Visa USA, San Francisco.

Agency: BBDO Worldwide, New York, for advertising. Sports marketing and promotion via Millsport, Stamford, Conn.; Frankel & Co., Chicago; and Wells Marketing, San Francisco. Ketchum Public Relations, New York, for publicity.

Twist: Capitalizing on the first-time Olympic appearance of professional hockey players and the debut of women's hockey as a medal sport, Visa last month signed on as a long-term sponsor of USA Hockey for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. A new logo and hockey-specific ad campaign debuts next month in an integrated marketing effort leading up to the Olympics in February.

Vital statistics: Visa's USA Hockey sponsorship extends over six years. In addition to point-of-purchase promotion and posters at local hockey events, Visa will donate funds to local youth hockey programs during the 1997-98 USA Hockey Women's National Pre-Olympic Tour. Visa also is a sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Figure Skating.

Kate Fitzgerald edits Events & Promotions. Reach her by fax at (312) 649-5331

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