Visa's Overtures to Consumers With Disabilities

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In Perth at the NICAN Conference the presenters repeatedly pointed out the purchasing power of the disability market niche.

The following story highlights the growing awareness of this fact. Here Kerin Hope explores it in the context of the last Paralympics.

Excerpted from:

Sponsors Discover Purchasing Power of Paralympics

By Kerin Hope in Athens
Published: September 30 2004 03:00

Visa, the credit card supplier, is the first big Olympic sponsor to turn its attention to the Paralympics. Visa signed a three-games sponsorship deal with the IPC, covering Athens, Beijing and the 2012 games host.

About 2,500 Athens retailers participated in a pilot programme sponsored by Visa to make their premises more accessible to people with disabilities. A similar programme is being prepared for Turin, the Italian city that will stage the winter Paralympics in 2006.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 13 to 18 per cent of the world's population have a disability. Research has shown a largely untapped market of about 440m people, according to Sergio Furman, IPC marketing director.

"These are people with strong loyalties to products and brands that cater for their needs," he said.

The IPC has become increasingly aware of its potential for attracting commercial sponsorship. McKinsey, the international consultancy, has developed a strategy for the IPC to promote international sports events for disabled athletes and raise the profile of elite performers.

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