|Visa Renews Strategic Marketing Alliance With Simon|
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG), the nation's largest owner and manager of shopping malls, has entered into a renewal of its strategic alliance with Visa U.S.A. Inc. for two years. The agreement is the continuation of a four-year partnership between Simon Brand Ventures, the strategic marketing division of Simon, and Visa.
As part of this renewal, Visa will remain Simon's preferred method of payment at more than 170 of its retail properties and will expand its relationship with Simon to include new card product development and testing. Additionally, Visa will retain on-mall advertising rights in Simon malls, while Simon will feature the Visa logo on on-mall signage, select marketing materials and television commercials.
Terms of the agreement also include Simon and Visa continuing their efforts to deepen customer relationships through national promotional campaigns. The first national campaign to be supported by this effort will be the "Visa Magic Moments" sweepstakes to be promoted in Simon malls, or anywhere that Visa is accepted, this holiday season. As an additional layer to the national campaign, shoppers who use their Visa card to purchase Simon gift certificates valued at $150 or more will receive a complementary American flag and American flag book.
"Our alliance with Visa is an example of the strategic solutions and powerful medium Simon malls offer to brand marketers to surround and immerse consumers in rewarding and lasting brand experiences," said Cathi Weiner, senior vice president of partnership development and marketing, Simon Brand Ventures. "For the past four years, Visa's campaigns have come to life in Simon malls, spurring increased loyalty to the Visa brand. We believe our new agreement with Visa will enable us to continue building those results in coming years."
In addition to national promotions, Simon will work with Visa to develop and implement integrated marketing programs on a regional basis to help further drive purchasing and customer loyalty to Visa member banks on a local level.
The renewed alliance also demonstrates Simon's and Visa's commitment to innovation through a formal agreement to develop and test new products for Simon shoppers and employees. To benefit shoppers, Simon and Visa are piloting a gift card at select Simon malls this year. The testing period for the card will end January 2002. Visa, Simon and Visa member banks have partnered to develop and implement a Visa procurement card for Simon employees to make business purchases, as well as a Visa travel and entertainment card for those Simon employees who frequently travel.
"Simon is a testing ground for new products," said Kellie Krug, vice president of marketing services, Visa U.S.A. "Simon's expertise in multiple marketing channels has helped us to generate brand awareness among our key customer base and drive increased card use among Simon shoppers and employees."
The alliance between Simon and Visa was formed in 1997 in an effort to drive purchasing and brand loyalty. Visa's partnership with Simon enables the company to take advantage of its sponsorships with companies, including NASCAR and the NFL, into Simon's premier experiential marketing channel. Most recently, Simon and Visa have joined forces to bring value-added experiences, such as the "Visa and the Grinch Give Back the Holidays" sweepstakes, "500 Miles of Daytona" live event and "Visa. It's Everywhere NFL Fans Want To Be" promotion to Simon shoppers across the country.
Visa is the world's leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $835 billion in annual transaction volume -- including roughly half of all Internet payments -- with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa's people, partnerships, brand, payment technology and security standards are helping to create universal commerce -- the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere, anyway. Please visit www.visa.com for additional information.
Founded in 1997, Simon Brand Ventures has pioneered the transformation of shopping malls into a medium where consumer brands can build one-to-one relationships with the more than 100 million shoppers who make more than 2 billion visits to Simon malls each year. Simon Brand Ventures has entered into strategic partnerships with more than 100 retailers and sponsors within the last year, including Cingular Wireless, Frito-Lay, Pepsi Cola Company and Visa U.S.A., to stage memorable brand experiences in Simon malls through a variety of media platforms.
Simon Property Group, Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust which, through its subsidiary partnerships, is engaged in the ownership, development, management, leasing, acquisition and expansion of income-producing properties, primarily regional malls and community shopping centers. It currently owns or has an interest in 251 properties containing an aggregate of 186 million square feet of gross leasable area in 36 states and six assets in Europe and Canada. Together with its affiliated management company, Simon owns or manages approximately 191 million square feet of gross leasable area in retail and mixed-use properties. Shares of Simon Property Group, Inc. are paired with beneficial interests in shares of stock of SPG Realty Consultants, Inc. Additional Simon Property Group information is available at www.shopsimon.com .
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SOURCE Simon Property Group
CONTACT: Mary Kern of Edelman, +1-312-240-3374; or Billie Scott of Simon Property Group, +1-317-263-7148/