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Visa Puts Employee in the Prize Pool

By Aug 09, 2006

Visa USA is offering small-business owners a hand in its first-ever national promotion aimed at small businesses.

The sweepstakes, Hired for You, has an unusual grand prize: The winner gets an employee for a year, and $50,000 in Staples gift cards to buy equipment and supplies for the business. (Ten first-prize winners get a Staples gift card worth $2,500.)

Visa Business cardholders are entered automatically each time they use their card. Visa supports the August-September sweeps with online ads, as well as direct-mail and P-O-P distributed by 50 member banks.

Visa doesn’t do the actual hiring: The top winner gets $50,000 to use as salary for a new staffer. Chicago-based Arc Worldwide handles the sweeps for San Francisco-based Visa.

Visa created the sweeps after research showed that 51% of small-business owners could build their business if they had just one more staffer. About 28% said they’d delegate marketing tasks to a new employee; 26% would delegate sales, and 25% would delegate operations.

Small business is big business for Visa: Visa Business cardholders charged $103.5 billion to their cards for the year ended June 30, up 32.2% from the year before. That gives Visa a hefty chunk of the estimated $300 billion that small businesses spend each year via credit and debit cards.

Small businesses are one segment that Visa has targeted with its aggressive “Life Takes Visa” campaign that launched in February with a new tagline (replacing the 20-year-old “Everywhere You Want to Be”) as the brand expands beyond credit cards to handle all payment processes (PROMO Xtra, Feb. 8, 2006).

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