The number 6. Is that the over/under on how many touchdown passes Tom Brady will throw this Sunday? No, but that is the number of years, or sooner, in which Visa believes the first cashless Super Bowl will take place, as the following Boston.com story reports.
So you’re headed to the Super Bowl some year in the future, and you’re wondering how much cash you’ll need for the big game. No worries: During its sponsorship renewal with the NFL through the 2025 season, Visa envisions the first cashless Super Bowl.
It won’t be this year, although 50 percent of concession stands that are available for making purchases for Sunday’s title game between the Rams and Patriots will be cashless. But it likely is coming.
“Part of what we talk a lot about with the NFL is getting a path to cashless events, and the epicenter is the Super Bowl,” says Chris Curtin, Visa’s chief brand and innovation marketing officer. “We are working on an architecture that will get us there, it’s something we are really keen on.
“We want an experience that from head to toe will be a cashless experience. The NFL has agreed to partner with us in making that a reality. That is where our energy is now. We have a lot of learnings from other partnerships such as the Olympics and World Cup, we would like to apply those learnings to this experience and make it engaging and rewarding and inviting to fans.”
And not only at the Super Bowl, but at other league-run events such as the draft, the Pro Bowl, and the international games in London and Mexico City. During Super Bowl week in Atlanta, Visa is activating a dedicated “MVP” checkout lane at the NFL Shop to encourage cardholders to pay with contactless devices and get in and out of line quickly. They also might run into an NFL player manning the checkout.
Hungry and thirsty sports fans know that standing in concession stand lines risks missing out on big game action. But many stadiums are striving to shorten lines such as by in-seat ordering and mobile POS devices throughout the venue. Visa is on the right track by envisioning cashless to be the way to go at sports and entertainment events. Food and drink vendors will score big as well since shorter lines should lead to more sales regardless of who wins the game.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group