NEW YORK: Visa is now spending up to 40% of its total global marketing budget on digital and mobile, the international financial transactions company's marketing chief has said.

As Visa marks its 27th year of sponsoring the Olympics, CMO Kevin Burke told Adweek that mobile now sits "at the heart" of what Visa does in terms of delivering content and engaging with consumers. Burke added that Visa's sponsorship of the current Winter Olympics and other major sporting events is a crucial part of its brand positioning.

He said that, even in the 1950's, Visa founder Dee Hock referred to a universally accepted digital currency that helps consumers transact regardless of borders and, building on that vision of universality, the company aims to connect with consumers using the slogan "Everywhere you want to be".

The major development, Burke added, is that mobile platforms have become central to connecting effectively with consumers, especially since the 2012 Olympics in London, and that Visa has found sponsorship of the Olympics has helped to increase the strength and vitality of its brand.

"We look to technology like mobile because consumers often use a mobile device as the window through which they do everything, so we try to create content that is designed for that environment," he explained.

For example, Visa's 360 Cam app enables sports fans to watch videos of athletes during training, which Burke described as "a compelling experience that inspires consumers to imagine their own everywhere and see what it's like to be there with athletes".

Visa's brand positioning, Burke said, is built on the insight that "everybody has a place they want to be and Visa can help them get there" and the proliferation of mobile technology has made this even more relevant.

This is why the company is spending more and more of its marketing budget on digital channels where people consume content, he added.

Data sourced from Adweek; additional content by Warc staff