Do you have a hard time believing that Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught all of those passes with one hand while using Visa Checkout with the other in that TV commercial? Three of the stars of the video—Fitzgerald himself, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and New Orleans Saints Drew Brees—say the NFL star really did complete the impressive feat.
"Did I really catch the ball? Are you serious? This is what I do!" Fitzgerald exclaimed to Adweek at South by Southwest.
The athletes (hear more of their thoughts in the video above) were featured speakers at the "Visa and the NFL: Bringing Innovation to an Iconic Brand" panel at SXSW this weekend. Joining them to discuss the topic were NFL svp of sponsorship and partner management Renie Anderson, Visa chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio and San Francisco 49ers president Paraag Marathe.
Visa and the NFL have been official partners for 18 years, and the two brands announced at the panel that they had extended their contract through 2020. As the NFL's and Visa's consumers become increasingly digitally savvy, both are looking for ways to connect with their audience. Marathe discussed his hopes for Levi's Stadium, which has a WiFi system that enables fans to order food and figure out the length of bathroom lines without having to leave their seats.
"What you want in any type of partnership is longevity," Anderson said to Adweek. "You hope that the partners have an echo effect. As we were in renewal discussions with Visa, the great thing about Visa and the NFL is they really challenged us for an evolution of the partnership. They don't just want to put their logo on a sign. They want to integrate authentically with our brand through our fans."