The track and field were not the only places where records were shattered at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

One of the Games’ main sponsors, Visa International, claimed this weekend that it had achieved record levels of card payments totalling nearly $14 million at Olympic venues, registering 294,610 transactions over seventeen days. In addition, over 50,000 withdrawals totalling $4.6 million were made at the 22 Olympic cash machines.

The international payment system also hailed the wide-ranging brand exposure, media coverage and hospitality opportunities gained through its sponsorship.

Said senior vp-global partnership marketing and sponsorship, Tom Shepard: "For 17 days, Sydney and Australia have kept the world enthralled with flawless execution and thrilling sports activity. At Visa, we look for innovative ways to evolve the utilization of the Games ... as a result ... global volume is up and brand awareness is higher than ever."

Visa has been planning its Olympic strategy for the past four years, actively promoting Sydney and Australia to a global audience via its "Australia Prefers Visa" platform.

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily