MasterCard eyes tie-up with music and fashion

MasterCard is undergoing a review of its sponsorship strategy following its replacement by Visa as sponsor of the FIFA World Cup.

The credit-card brand, which has traditionally sponsored sports events and has a long-established relationship with football, is to extend its partnerships into music and fashion.

MasterCard's current sports sponsorships include the UEFA Champions League and of UEFA European Championships, the PGA Tour and the Senior Open golf Championships.

In the entertainment category, it has sponsored The Brit Awards for nine years and recently backed Swarovski Fashion Rocks, a music and fashion event for The Prince's Trust. It is now looking for similar tie-ups.

As part of the review, MasterCard is to introduce its PayPass 'tap & go' technology at events to involve its customers in the sponsorship and promote the product at times when long queues are inevitable.

PayPass, a contactless card system that allows consumers to make purchases of £10 or less without having to enter a pin number or provide a signature, is currently being rolled out in the UK.

The system can be added to any MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid card, or to a Maestro debit card. Retailers including McDonald's and Coffee Republic have signed up to install PayPass readers in-store.

According to MasterCard, 5m cards will be available to use at 100,000 retailers in the UK by the end of next year. Barclays has launched a similar card system called One Pulse, which combines Oyster, credit and cashless technology.


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