Athlete-Driven: Zlatan and Visa go global


Since announcing his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the most Zlatan way possible, the international soccer superstar has wasted no time capitalizing on his newfound popularity in the U.S. market.

Today, Visa and Zlatan announced a new athlete marketing partnership, naming the striker as the global face of Visa’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign. Ibrahimovic’s massive worldwide following and increasing influence in the U.S. make him a sure-fire fit for the payment giant’s push onto soccer’s biggest stage.

Zlatan, unsurprisingly, feels the same way:

“Of course Visa approached me to partner with them, I’m Zlatan. I’m the best on the field, and as the leader in payments, Visa is the best off the field.” - Zlatan

Similar to his introduction as a member of the Galaxy, the partnership was announced with athlete-driven content via Zlatan’s social channels.


Team ViZa #EverywhereZwantstobe

A post shared by Zlatan Ibrahimović (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on

The content reflects Zlatan’s typical brand position, replacing Visa with “ViZa” and proclaiming it to be “Zlatanised.” The spot also features a play on Visa’s “Everywhere you want to be” tagline, adjusting it to their newest spokesman with #EverywhereZwantstobe.

Views on Visa channels: 2K

Views on Zlatan channels: 1.1M+

Zlatan shared the content to all three of his social channels, while Visa shared identical content to Instagram and Twitter. In less than two hours, Visa’s posts received just under two thousand video views. Zlatan’s posts: over 1.1 million views.

Much like Serena Williams’ athlete-driven campaign with Lincoln, the content of the announcement was intentionally crafted to match Zlatan’s brand. By sharing the authentic content through his personal channels, both Ibrahimovic and Visa win. The announcement was massively amplified to more than a million highly engaged fans, while providing Zlatan with engaging, on-brand content to share with his audience.

While not every athlete is as polarizing as Zlatan, brands can benefit from following Visa’s approach — tailor messaging to your athlete partner’s personal brand and put the content in their hands. Their fans will thank you.

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