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Do big events sponsors have too much influence?

10:55 UK time, Thursday, 24 June 2010

Sports fans who want to buy tickets by card for the London 2012 Olympics will only be able to use the Visa payments system. Are such restrictions acceptable?

The restrictions are part of the sponsorship deal struck between Visa and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visa cards will be the only ones accepted at shops and cash machines at Olympic venues. The Office of Fair Trading said it was looking into the matter.

It is the latest example of the tight control exerted by sponsors over events after paying for sponsorship rights, including the case of the young women in orange mini dresses who were accused of trying to promote a Dutch beer at the World Cup, breaking strict Fifa marketing rules.

How much power should sponsors have over event arrangements? Should there be more competition at events? Were you aware such agreements existed?


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  • Comment number 1.

    Do big events sponsors have too much influence?

    Well just after we got the Olympics the government passed a law which will make it a criminal offence to display the wrong kind of branding on your clothes, in certain circumstances, in the vicinity of the games.

    Thats not a law which benefits the population of Britain is it?

    So yes sponsers have way too much power & influence and its been reinforced by our own government to our detriment.

  • Comment number 2.

    i guess i will not grace the olympics with my presence then if i cannot use the card i have had for a long time

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes the sponsors do have too much power but that is not their fault. The organisers do not have to sign up to any deal, but when you have to pay for the running of an I.O.C. they do need every penny they can get.

  • Comment number 4.

    It's no business of the Olympics what credit card I choose to use. This discourages me from buying tickets as I can't use my card of choice. I won't have my personal financial arrangements dictated to by the Olympics Committee!

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't really see what the fuss is. Sponsors pay a lot towards these events so they have every right to state conditions. The 2012 Olympics wouln't be happening without sponsorship, and it's hardly a big deal if you have to get a Visa card - get rid of it afterwards if it's a problem.

    I do object to valuable corporate seats at events not being filled though. Can't they be made available to the general public if people can't be bothered to turn up?

  • Comment number 6.

    I smell monopoly!

  • Comment number 7.

    Isn't it sad that sport is no so commercialised :( To think it was once the provenance of having some time off to go and relax and watch some sport. Now it is all about headcount and profits for corporations and the only 'win' of real concern is that the shareholders get the profits.

    Sadly, this will not change in my life time (and yes, I do hear all the voices saying it provides better facilities for sportsmen,, but it only applies to those who have access to it :()

  • Comment number 8.

    Well if they want to make it fail that's one way of going about it.

  • Comment number 9.

    I do not have plastic and only us money so I will not be bothering with the games and if others can not have a chose how they pay then do the same after all we are supposed to be pulling in our belts and we are all in it together so Dave said and its a Blair idea so to me it should not happen as we do not have the money, but big business does and that is all that matters that and Visa and whose bank does that belong too.

  • Comment number 10.

    This is bang out of order!

    I can understand the inflated prices & being forced to buy from their own shops once you actually GET IN to the event or venue.

    I could even understand a restriction saying you can only buy from one ticket vendor or web site.

    But restricting people to a particular credit card before they even get there is NOT ON!

  • Comment number 11.

    Things like this depend on corporate sponsorship for a lot of the funding so without them no such event. And that gives them the opportunity to make demands like this. life is made up of compromises.

  • Comment number 12.

    That's going too far.

    Some major corporations already have too much power over consumers as it is but this is just silly.

  • Comment number 13.

    "Yes they do have far too much power" But its what they payed big money to obtain. Remember without the sponsors paying the bills, no major sporting events would happen in many sports {Sport is big business}

  • Comment number 14.

    People have confused capitalism with democracy. As a result, over time, huge companies have become more and more powerful.

    Heaven forbid trying to tell anyone this, though. You get immediately lablelled as a communist...exactly what the big companies have wanted since the early 80's.

    Stop worryinig about losing the pound to the Euro...Visa have alread determined what our legal tender is!

  • Comment number 15.

    Outlets may vary the type of card to which they subscribe to take payments but is it lawful for them to not accept cash? The Visa promotions people probably think they've been quite smart but a concerted effort by all people to make transactions in cash only should bring them down a peg or two!

  • Comment number 16.

    What ever happened to straight forward sponsorship? Don't Visa realise that locking payements down like this will create more harm than good?

    The arguement that Visa spend a lot of money is flawed - sponsorship works on creating good will. This just leaves a bad tast in the mouth.

    I was interested in attending the Olympics - but not now. I, for one, will be voting with my feet.

  • Comment number 17.

    There's a simple answer to this problem...

    ...boycott the Olympic games and anything associated with Visa. It won't take long for them to learn a short, sharp lesson!

  • Comment number 18.


    Lloyds TSB are official banking partners of London 2012.

    Shame their customers can't use credit cards to buy tickets as they only do Amex and MasterCard ones!

    And, of course, anyone whose bank card was Switch/Maestro is out of luck as they are all changing to MasterCard debit cards.

  • Comment number 19.

    Quite simple, I only have a mastercard so I wont be going and the olympics will get no money at all from me

  • Comment number 20.

    Won't be going to the games then as I don't have a VISA card and won't be dictated too. Money is money and if they don't like then fine, fill the seats if you can considering the budget not many people will be able to afford to go now.

  • Comment number 21.

    Either the Olympics committee was desperate at the time, or they didn't read the small print. Either way, they have messed up on this big time.

    Sponsors should have no right whatsoever to dictate anything other than where their logo goes and perhaps what brand of bottled water is given to the athletes. In these connected times, I'd have thought that paying by credit card would only be one of several options for online bookings.

    I was intending to go down to watch at least one day of sport there. Might not bother now if that's their attitude!

  • Comment number 22.

    It's obvious - too much power.

    Someone with any other card but Visa has to now also take out a Visa credit card in order to buy tickets by card ? That is proposterous. It won't be possible to buy food and drink without the correct card (or cash ?).

    I hope the stadiums are empty and Visa customers show their disgust by switching away to other cards.

    And we are going to give sponsor's representative's powers we would never give to the police ? If the story was - police can detain people for wearing the wrong shoes or drinking the wrong kind of cola - I would expect outcry in parlaiment. But it seems that for the olympics there will be a dress code effectively banning anything with a non-sponsor's logo.

    I need to find a full list of sponsors so that I can boycott their products.

  • Comment number 23.

    I don't begrudge sports fans their fun, but they should recognise that at this level, sport is a business.

    They, the fans, are pretty much the low links in the enormous food chain, paying out vast sums of money to pay the athletes, and, behind them, a whole industrial-sporting complex.

    That complex ranges from the sporting organisations, obviously, through various massive multinationals, to the media.

    It's a bit rich the BBC criticising the money-grabbing nature of the sponsors, given the queries there have been about the money (our money) the BBC pays its staff to cover the events. How many people does it take to commentate on any given event? Whatever that number is, double it, and you get near to the BBC's staffing levels.

  • Comment number 24.

    I was angry a few years back when I found at that even common words were banned from public use and reserved for sponsors only. In 2012 you won't be able to write the words London, Olympics or even bronze, silver or gold without falling foul of the law. Now we will not only have a gagging order on what we can write but also on how we spend. What next a ban on red, white and blue? I suppose we'll all have to wear yellow that year, or should that be bright orange?

  • Comment number 25.

    Its a RESTRICTION OF TRADE and under European law it is ILLEGAL.

    Ebay and Paypal tried doing the same thing, tried forcing Paypal as the ONLY payment method on Ebay & the EU refused.

    It first tried it on the Australians a few years ago because Australia is MUCH MUCH smaller than the EU and Ebay/Paypal thought they could impose themselves. The Australian government REFUSED to comply, so Ebay put huge restrictions on Ebay Australia by removing their visability on Ebay worldwide, thus damaging Ebay accounts/businesses in Australia.

    This is just yet MORE evidence of the power of the banking/financial industry which has MANY MANY supporters, many of them secret who openly oppose but behind closed doors are hypocrites and possibly receiving payment, within the controlling establishment.

  • Comment number 26.

    As a consumer, I reserve the right to determine which payment methods I use as well as which products and services I buy with those payment methods. If my preferred payment method is not accepted by a vendor then that is the vendor's loss because I will simply not buy the product or service - even if I had queued for a substantial period before getting served (and causing delay to the vendor in the process).

    If enough people were to make this stand then maybe we would be able to influence these kinds of restrictive practices in the future, or maybe not.

    I really couldn't care less - if an event or vendor wants to deliberately prevent themselves from selling to me then good luck to them.

    *Notice I said my preferred payment method. Even if I have a Visa card of some kind, I may not want to use it.

  • Comment number 27.

    I would not object to the behaviour of sponsors if they provided the whole of the funding required to stage London 2012... but while public money is being spent on the Olympics they can go whistle!

  • Comment number 28.

    Will this punative purchasing ban extend to all officla olympic merchandise as well? Can't see how that will work outside of the Olympic ring of control that will extend around London in 2012.
    What happens when a high street chain promotes Olympic t shirts and mascots, will we get to the till and be told sorry Visa only for these?
    Just how far will this madness extend?

  • Comment number 29.

    As one who thinks the whole 2010 (am I allowed to use 2010, it's on the prescribed list?) is a waste of money, this just underlines what a preposterous farce it all is . There's no way I'd change, or get another, card just to go to any event.

    Actually, thinking about it, I'll have a look at transfer deals from Visa. Something I've been thinking about. Bit of a back-fire there for Visa.

  • Comment number 30.

    Stuff the Olympics, I have Mastercard and they are not getting a penny of my cash. I only wish my taxes were not being wasted on this loathsome orgy of consumerism.

  • Comment number 31.

    It won't affect me as I will not be participating in any watching except for the equestrian 3 Day Event which I shall watch at home.

    I cannot see that staging the Olympics will be of benefit to the country anymore than the Dome was for several years. This project gobbled up large sums of Lottery money, not exactly what this money was intended for.

    Lottery money has again been used for the Games, millions of it.

  • Comment number 32.

    This is hardly anything new. The World Cup in Germany was sponsored by Mastercard and that was the only card that could have been used for a ticket purchase, O2 sponsor many gigs venue around the country and their customers can buy tickets in advance, and so on. This is wrong. I mean, why should I be a customer of a certain company if the product I am interested in has nothing to do with them.

  • Comment number 33.

    " 5. At 11:55am on 24 Jun 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:

    I don't really see what the fuss is. Sponsors pay a lot towards these events so they have every right to state conditions."

    How idiotic is that statement? As taxpayers, WE pay much more for this event than the sponsors. Twice as much. Then we have to pay the overpriced charges for tickets on top.

    In my mind, that gives US and not the sponsors the right to pay in whichever way we choose.

    I'm sick and tired of corporate sponsors and big business dictating how, where, when and in which way I can pay for things. If us taxpayers were not contributing huge amounts of money, the corporates wouldn't be in a position to be fleecing us for every penny.

  • Comment number 34.

    The sponsers are free to set the conditions if they so wish!

    That said, I, as an individual, is also free to set my own conditions. My conditions are: I'm not going and I don't support the London Olympics nor the UK atletes therein.

    How's that?

  • Comment number 35.

    Absolutely disgraceful, such monopolies are nothing more than criminal they are holding people to ransom. I couldnt give a monkeys about the olympics, but I do have a VISA card and I can assure you I will not have one for much longer, I fully intend to discontinue using VISA from now on.

  • Comment number 36.

    Do big event sponsors have too much influence?
    Corporations in general have too much influence. Look up, there are billboards. Look at TV, there are commercials. Listen to the radio, there are commercials. We are surrounded by advertising that cannot but help infiltrate and affect the mind, even if it's subliminal.
    Visa admits that its sponsorship brings the Visa brand "to life" as well as creates value for our stakeholders.
    Visa sponsors the Olympic and Paralympic Games and also the FIFA World Cup. Visa has been a Worldwide Sponsor of the Olympic Games and will be the exclusive till through 2020, including
    - the London 2012 Olympic Games,
    - the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia,
    - the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
    - the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and
    - the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
    Visa holds global rights to all FIFA World Cup events through 2014.
    In 1995, Visa’s began sponsorship of the NFL — including access to the Super Bowl, the NFL Pro Bowl and the NFL Draft.
    Will you be affected by the Visa deal?
    Everyone who participates in these games as fan or athlete is and will be affected.
    Are such restrictions acceptable?
    In 2004, the European Commission ORDERED that ticket sales through the Internet for the Athens Olympic Games should include other means of payment other than just Visa. In spite of the continuous scrutiny of the European Commission, the 2006 “FIFA World Cup Germany” also involved infringements of EC Law.
    How much power should sponsors have over event arrangements?
    None, but where there’s money, there’s power.

  • Comment number 37.

    What about the main sponsors???
    The people of London who are paying through the nose for this event.
    The monopolies commission should be jumping all over this!

  • Comment number 38.

    18. At 12:17pm on 24 Jun 2010, Pendlemac wrote:

    Lloyds TSB are official banking partners of London 2012.

    Shame their customers can't use credit cards to buy tickets as they only do Amex and MasterCard ones!


    Yet another HYS muppet making comments out of ignorance, which is the norm for HYS.

  • Comment number 39.

    This seems to go against the stated goals and role of the IOC, namely 'to oppose any political or COMMERCIAL abuse of sport and athletes'. If one takes the meaning of 'abuse' as 'to abuse ones authority', it could be argued that this action is a commercial abuse of the sport.

  • Comment number 40.

    As a matter of principle I just cut up my Visa card, not that I used it much anyway as the one thing I hate more than scroungers is money lenders.

  • Comment number 41.

    There are strong anti-monopoly and restrictive trade practices laws in this country, and the Office of Fair Trading seems to be looking into this situation, thereby doing what it was set up to do. Let's hear what it has to say first, and whether there is to be a reference to the Competition Commission which has powers to order those who break the competition rules to do things to remedy the situation.

  • Comment number 42.

    What is to stop someone applying for a Visa Debit card, then cutting it up after they have used it to book tickets? I imagine this would cost Visa more than they would make in interest revenue from the deal.

  • Comment number 43.

    I have 2 visa cards, but I'm thinking of switching just to send a message.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    Why should people be punished for wanting to be part of a world-wide event if they don't have the "proper" credit card?

    It's disgusting and I'm wondering if it's even legal. Wonder what the office of fair trading will come up with.

    What a way to ensure that the Olympics are surrounded by even MORE controversy.

  • Comment number 44.

    Its always a worry when companys sponsor sports I remember the Brazil/nike mess in the world cup when nike seemed like they were picking the team.

    I could not car less about the London olympics as Boris keeps pointing out this is LONDONS games so if they want sponsors that hopefully means the rest of us don't have to pay for LONDONS olympics.

  • Comment number 45.

    Just remember that in year of the olympics in the UK you cant use the year digits as the labour goverment allowed a trade mark to be issued.

    mmm I wonder how i will be able to write my tax cheque in January that year?

  • Comment number 46.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch and if VISA have invested a considerable amount of money into the Olympics then I guess they should expect to get something out. That’s capitalism for you!

  • Comment number 47.

    I always thought it was illegal to refuse to accept legal tender for a transaction, e.g. cash.

  • Comment number 48.

    Definition of the Olympics....

    something that is under budget when it costs 3 times the original budget (ie 3-3.5billion = 9-11Billoon actual spending)

  • Comment number 49.

    Lets face it ,the Olympics,World Cup and every other sport has been hi-jacked by businesses through-out the world.We have only to ignore these companies products for the position to change.Perhaps hero-worshipping over-payed performers will also end.It must be terribly difficult only to be able to exist on £100,000 a week.The name of the game is cash ,

  • Comment number 50.

    Doesn't bother me, as there is no way I'd have considered going to the Olympics in the first place. If anyone is surprised by this, you shouldn't be. The Olympics stopped being about sport a long time ago. Now it's all about ego trips for politicians and big bucks for corporate sponsors.

    As for me, I shall be sitting at home enjoying a nice cool glass of Bavaria beer instead.

  • Comment number 51.

    I did have my name down as a volunteer, but know I am re-thinking about it. I do not use Visa or MasterCard cards and object to having to use VISA. Also I do not want to pay over the odds to get a pre-paid card either which is what some people are suggesting. I use other methods of payment including cash.

  • Comment number 52.

    Obviously if they are allowed to stifle competition. I thought this was not allowed under UK law.

  • Comment number 53.

    This just gets dirtier. After the farce where people in SA were arrested for wearing orange clothes at a Dutch football game (charges subsequently dropped) are we going to have our bottles of water taken from us and made to buy Coca-cola, with a Visa card of course?

    If we turn up wearing the wrong labelled clothing will we have to spectate in our underpants?

    They can dictate which sposors can sell their products within the Olympic Games areas but they cannot dictate what we drink there, what we wear or how we pay for things.

    And what is this devious practice of passing a law to protect the commercial rights of companies for one specific event just to win the bid? Laws should cover general acts and not individual occasions to protect big business profiteering.

    This belongs in some third world dictatorship not Britain!

    I won't be going and I am reviewing which cards are in my wallet.

  • Comment number 54.

    This now par for the course with the biggest sporting events. Major sporting bodies an their sponsors demand and receive statutory protection for their brands from host nations.

    Hoiw this can be justified has yet to be explained satisfactorily. One can only conclude that politicians are mor concerned about their moment in the sun that they are about the rights and freedoms of those who elect them.

    Perhaps come 2012, Mastercard teeshirts should be a must-have fashion accessory in London!

  • Comment number 55.

    'Do big event sponsors have too much power'?

    Of course they do - that's the bottom line. You only have to look at Barclaycard, Virgin Media, and now Murdoch's obsession with forcing people to sign up to some kind of monthly cash flow contract under the same company, but with different names?

    Life is way too short to subscribe to Murdoch's celebs private health schemes - don't sign up to any pay to view, satellite tv etc.

    Do you honestly imagine that the CEO of the companies taking your monthly cash flow subscriptions for their high life actually watches what you are paying for? No, they are on their private islands paid for by your mindless contributions to pay to view sat!

  • Comment number 56.

    Considering that the taxpayer is indirectly funding the whole thing, this is a bit of a cheek. We should get free tickets.

  • Comment number 57.

    Yet another example of how the the Olympic games is no longer about a sport but just another money making excercise-paid for by?-Yes thats right the tax payer.I dont recall being asked if I wanted Visa having the lions share of pot?Its already put me off going.

  • Comment number 58.

    Big business has now adopted a totalitarian approach to marketing their goods & services eg. one is penalised for not buying one's airline tickets online, etc. But, for the Olympics, they can keep their tickets: it is simply an overcommercialised event.

  • Comment number 59.

    It is simple really,dont use or buy the sponsors products,the Olympics is supposed to be for amateurs notproffessional,OR corporations to control for their own greed.The Olympics should be held in Sparta in Greece and not in any other country,Only the original events allowed with no infiltration of the Olympics we have now,IE,Show-jumping,Volley-ball and all the other television-watchable side shows.

  • Comment number 60.

    Absolutely disgusting, and surely in breach of anti-competition laws.

    I DO have a Visa card, but I will NOT do using it to buy anything connected to the Olympics unless this is changed.

    Visa - take note.

  • Comment number 61.

    The final nail in the coffin of the credibility of the 2012 games, this latest fiasco highlights just how badly the IOC has betrayed its founding aims. Baron Pierre de Coubertin must be rolling in his grave at the thought of this. I already had my mind made up to boycott the entire event and the sponsors (wonder what kind of repercussions I'll face for that act of thoughtcrime...Interment? House Arrest? Re-education?) but this would have been the last straw. And if they can confound the OFT and get away with this in sports sponsorship, where else will they try and enforce exclusivity? Such are the joys of our wonderful happy capitalist consumerist utopia...

  • Comment number 62.

    Probably they do, but so what. I won't be having anything to do with this event which is no longer about sport it's about money and pampering to the ego of sportsmen and women who will no doubt be given an honour by the Queen for doing something that brings absolutley no benefit to anyone other than to themselves!

  • Comment number 63.

    Luckily I am not interested in attending the Olympics so it won't affect me but I will say that some people just never learn... do they!

    Quote The Fifa General Secretary

    The World Cup finals ticket sales strategy was "flawed"

    It had allegedly over 1/2 million seats unsold prior to making it easier for locals without internet access or bank accounts to buy tickets over-the-counter in supermarkets and shopping malls.

    the Fifa general secretary swent on to say “I think we should have opened ticketing centres in the country before,” , “We have to think about our ticketing policies and maybe review the policy for [Brazil in] 2014.”

    In other words their ticketing policy was a disaster and without the change the World Cup would have suffered

    Morally these policies are obsecene in that they expect the whole country to pay to stage events like the World Cup and Olympics but then allow private companies to dictate the conditions that determine and restrict who can attend (even if they had the money for a ticket they couldn't purchase one).

    It is an insult to the non VISA holding tax payers of this country

  • Comment number 64.

    If I turn up at the event with a Mastercard, iPhone, drinking pepsi and eating a Whopper, will I be turned away for not conforming.

    The current events at the WC seem to lead me to I will be.

    Sponsors are doing only sponsoring, not the organising or the competing.

  • Comment number 65.

    Me too,
    I switching to mastercard as a protest.
    its the olympics not ryanair.

  • Comment number 66.

    This is blatant discrimination. we have thousands of people on low pay that might want to save up and go to the olympics but because of past circumstances cannot get viable bank accounts or credit cards. Therefore no olympics for them in their country - so much for legacy.

    By the way I dislike the fizzy American beer that is the official sports (?) alcohol, does that mean proper beer cannot be sold in East London; fish & chips banned because it is not part of a big fast food franchise; non-Korean cars driven off the road and so on.

    Anyway because of corporate deals it probably wont matter what card you use - you wont get in to watch the real sports anyway.

  • Comment number 67.

    Oh dear, I only have a Mastercard which I have held since 1981. I think I'll give the Olympics a miss then. Shame, I would have spent exhorbitant amounts of money at the event. Not any more.
    All sounds a bit suspect to me, are we turning into North Korea?!!!

  • Comment number 68.

    Doesn't bother me. I won't be paying to watch professional athletes just like I don't pay to watch overpaid professional footballers.

  • Comment number 69.

    38. At 12:42pm on 24 Jun 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    18. At 12:17pm on 24 Jun 2010, Pendlemac wrote:

    Lloyds TSB are official banking partners of London 2012.

    Shame their customers can't use credit cards to buy tickets as they only do Amex and MasterCard ones!


    Yet another HYS muppet making comments out of ignorance, which is the norm for HYS.

    Mr Wonderfulreality, you aren't correct. I am a Lloyds Bank customer and I have 2 credit cards for my account. One is an Amex card, however they also supply you with a Mastercard for use when shops/businesses don't accept the Amex card.

  • Comment number 70.

    I dont have a Visa card and dont want one. I refuse to have any company dictate to me which card I can or cannot use. If this is to be enforced then I will not be attending anything to do with the Olympics. I dont think I will be the only one, this is likely to backfire on the organisers.

  • Comment number 71.


  • Comment number 72.

    5. At 11:55am on 24 Jun 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:
    I don't really see what the fuss is. Sponsors pay a lot towards these events so they have every right to state conditions. The 2012 Olympics wouln't be happening without sponsorship, and it's hardly a big deal if you have to get a Visa card - get rid of it afterwards if it's a problem.


    Maybe we could have a system where those who believe rabid capitalism is a good thing can sign up to be milked for every penny by the conglomerates, whilst everybody else gets to wear what they like, eat & drink what they like and pay how they like, wherever they are.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm already paying for these games; I'll be jiggered if I'll pay again, by any means.

  • Comment number 74.

    The Olympics,World Cup, Wimbledon etc is not about's about money and nice overpayed 'jobs' for the organisations.

  • Comment number 75.

    I thought the Olympics was selected in London for it's social inclusion and diversity and hope for young people pitch. However, it seems over the over 18s, who happen to have a visa card need apply. Young people, poor people, ex bankrupts and people who simply chose not to have a visa master card will be socially excluded. What a great message of harmony!?

  • Comment number 76.

    66. At 1:31pm on 24 Jun 2010, JimK wrote:

    By the way I dislike the fizzy American beer that is the official sports (?) alcohol, does that mean proper beer cannot be sold in East London;


    I think that there's an excellent chance that any pubs in the immediate vicinity will be hit with injunctions stopping displaying promotions for non-official beers - maybe even told to take down their brewery signs from outside.

  • Comment number 77.

    So what about people with "Bad Credit References" who can't get a credit card never mind a Visa Credit card. Is it not Illegal not to accept Cash Sterling when paying for something in the UK? In most large cities in the UK you can even pay with Euro's in at least some shops. Added to this, surely the Olympics is being paid for mainly by UK Taxpayers, the National Lotterie and the UK side of the Euro Lotterie?

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    I think such a refusal should be made illegal. Other methods of payment are perfectly acceptable elsewhere so why is the customer, the citizen, allowed to be subjected to this type of bullying ?

    Shame on the Olympic authorities, the Visa company, and the politicians who have failed to prevent it.

  • Comment number 80.

    So the OFT are looking at this, well thats alright then, we can relax, safe in the knowledge that Visa will get the thumbs up from the OFT to do whatever they like! There is far too much money and greed to do with professional sport these days and this is just taking it all to another level. In future whoever pays/bribes the sports governing body enough will get to say how things are run. If people don't like it, its no good sitting there grumbling, stop using Visa. Trouble is and visa as well as every other corporate giant no darn well that we will do no such thing.

    The paying public have allowed this to happen, by paying grossly over the odds for their sportsmen and women, these people aren't changing the world, they run about for goodness sake, hardly brain surgery and yet they are paid millions and think they're gods, likewise the sponsors know a good thing when they see one, hype everything up, charge the earth, and eventually by being very smart indeed end up owning the whole darn thing!

  • Comment number 81.

    Yes, sponsors do have too much power. As far as the Olympics is concerned though it makes no difference to me because I have no intention of going anywhere near it, watching it on TV or buying anything products connected to it.

  • Comment number 82.

    There is nothing on the olympics official travel sites warning those comming the the UK that they MUST have a visa card to attend.

  • Comment number 83.

    it goes against everything the olympics stood for, it has become a sham.

  • Comment number 84.

    Can't blame Visa. I do blame the London Olympics Committee. They should have stood firm on this one, and if they lost the sponsorship deal then perhaps organisers need to look in future at the vast sums of money that they need in order to put on a very brief show, the venues for which have yet to be proven to be of any use afterwards.

    Not that I'll be bothering to use plastic or otherwise for this event. Out of work, live in Greater London, still pay ull-rate council tax which is going to pay for this anyway.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    I just can't get my head round this one. It cannot be true. I thought this was OUR Olympics. It was won for the Country and paid for by the country (or at least that is what they told us when they asked us to back it, celebrate it and commit to it).

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    5. At 11:55am on 24 Jun 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:

    I don't really see what the fuss is. Sponsors pay a lot towards these events so they have every right to state conditions."

    MUPPET- WHO has paid the MOST, NOT the sponsors and in fact local council tax payers will be paying for this YEARS after completion

  • Comment number 89.

    what a fantastic idea, let everyone wanting to visit run up a visa credit card bill and get even further into debt, yes i do know they offer debit cards and that we should clear the balance at month end etc, but the majority of people pay by plastic and pay off over time. Isnt this the wrong message to be sending out at this time of fiscal hardship !
    TBH i understand what the olympics is meant to do for trade/industry and the economy as a whole, but lets be honest how many billions are being spent so some folk can run in circles and throw stick, i think it should be held in a country who can afford to run it and where the residents of said country can afford to attend, especially in london, the tourist who visit will need to re mortgage to buy a pint and a sandwich !

  • Comment number 90.

    Do big events sponsors have too much influence?

    Your having a HUGE LARF- WHO put the money up for the now o2 Arena -taxpayers

    The expected TOTAL UK TAXPAYER "sponsorship" of these olympic games is NO LESS THAN £6BILLION.

    A few FACTS and reports for the igorant:--

    BBC Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 17:37 GMT

    Cost of 2012 Olympics 'up £900m'

    The costs of the games have gone up 38% in just over a year
    The expected cost of the 2012 London Olympic park has risen 40% since the games were won in July 2005, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has told MPs.
    The extra £900m cost was likely to be met by London council tax payers and lottery funds, Ms Jowell suggested.

    The new £3.3bn estimate, which does not include a revised security bill or regeneration costs, is still far below the £8bn some critics say is likely.

    BBC Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 10:00 GMT

    The cost of the 2012 London Olympics could rise to nearly four times the figure set out in the city's bid for the Games, the BBC has learned.

    The Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are discussing a price of £9bn - up from an initial figure of £2.35bn.

    Construction alone could cost £3.3bn, the government has said.

    The DCMS said budget talks were still ongoing and accurate figures would be announced later.


    Costs have mounted since London won the right to host the games in July 2005.

    On top of soaring construction bills, an extra £2bn has been allocated as a contingency fund.

    Regeneration costs of £1.8bn and a £1bn VAT bill have also been added.

    And security costs have grown to at least £900m


    MAIL online Last updated at 11:18 PM on 4th February 2009

    The cost of 2012 Olympics venues soars by £100million

    The biggest increase has been to the Olympic stadium - up by £22million to £547million
    Those two projects, together with the rise in venue costs will push the bill for the Games up by £318million, according to the report by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

    The biggest increase has been to the Olympic stadium which has shot up from £525million to £547million due to amendments to the roof. The bill for the aquatics centre is to increase by £5million to £251million, which is £37million more than estimated.

    The budget for the velodrome has soared by £25million to £105million due to more complex foundations being laid and problems with contamination.

    Costs for venues outside the Olympic Park are also projected to rise by £24million.

    However, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell will say today that the total project is on track to stay within its £9.3billion budget.

    LOL!!!!!!!NOTICE THE new £3.3bn estimate in 2006 and apparantly the NEW ON TRACK BUDGET of £9.3 BILLION in Feb 2009, its NOW 2010 LOL.

    I can answer this myself!!!



    Answers must be provided on a dust mite!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    It's worse than just buying tickets. The news article states : "Visa credit and debit cards will be the only ones accepted at shops or cash machines at Olympic venues."

    So you can only use a Visa card to buy your ticket, and when you get in you can only use your Visa card to buy something to eat, and you can't withdraw cash without a Visa card either. So if you don't have a Visa debit card to get cash you'll need to get it before you get inside - so I assume there will either be a lot of cash points outside the venues, or banks for miles around will have their cashpoints sucked dry of cash. Then of course there'll be a lot of people wandering round with lots of cash in their wallets... mugger's / pickpocket's paradise!

  • Comment number 92.

    Sponsored by the taxpayer without permission. We have indeed all been ambushed by advertising. Come the revolution......

  • Comment number 93.

    I really don't care.

    The 2012 Olympics are just a testimony to Blair's vanity. We'll be spending money to hold this ridiculous sporting event at a time when the country has a budget deficit and a massive total debt.

    I'd rather see the taxpayers contribution to this pointless jamboree used in a more constructive fashion.

  • Comment number 94.

    Just another demonstration of the fascism at the very heart of our social order! Behold the fascist corporatism embracing all we know!

    Reject the fascists masquerading as benevolent corporations!

    We should all reject using VISA - just take cash...

  • Comment number 95.

    It is disgusting that the government have allowed such a monopoly to be forced upon the public- who's money has built and funded funded this fiasco.
    I won't be buying a ticket or using a Visa card anytime soon.

    If the public is not happy with this kind of corporate bullying it should boycott VISA, EVERYWHERE.

  • Comment number 96.

    All these events take a lot of money, no government wants to sponsor the events with tax-paying dollars, here step the big manufacturers with their mega brands of merchandise. It is greed of sales that makes these marketing programs flourish, the average Joe on the street does not understand the finances and leg work required to pull a big event like FIFA. No wonder the sponsors who have the biggest stake in the games, want to make sure that their goods and services are the only one available for the events to the public. I fully support private & public partnerships in improving the infra-structure of any country, if it was just left with the government then we will see Mugabe type of dictators stealing the money, land and sweat of the hard working citizens.

  • Comment number 97.

    No need for everyone to get excited about this. This decision will be overturned.

  • Comment number 98.

    If enough people hacked off at this decision don't go to the Olympics, then that will leave capacity for those happy to use Visa (or, when in the Olympic venue I'm sure they'll still take cash!). So part of it is really about crowd control.

    Also, it's Visa's fightback because so many banks and other companies were fed up at their higher processing charges and switched millions of credit users over to Mastercard in the past five years. They have to make up this shortfall somehow, whether it's right or wrong. Plus it's not like Visa debit cards will be ineligible either, though since I'm paying for the games already I'm more likely to look at competitions for tickets to attend, as it'll be in my back yard.

  • Comment number 99.

    Does this mean that if you enter a stadium wearing e.g. a premiership team jersey you'll get chucked out if the jersey isn't displaying an official sponsor?

  • Comment number 100.

    All my cards are Mastercard - I have never even bothered to choose between Visa and MC, think I might have had a Visa a few years ago.
    Now I have good reason to stick to Mastercard, if this remains the case it it will randomly alienate millions of people. I think Visa are more likely to lose custom than gain it.


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