Russia’s largest bank joins Olympic fever

With the summer Olympics in Beijing fast approaching, corporations around the globe are doing their part in promoting the Games. Russia's Sberbank is issuing new bank cards that bare the images of the country's Olympic champions.

“Our relationship with the Russian Olympic team dates back to 2002 when we issued cards for the entire Russian team going to the games in Salt Lake City,” said Irina Parfenova, Sberbank card department manager. After that as she told the bank came up with an idea to issue a special series of cards for the summer games in Athens. “Later in 2006 during the games in Turin we decided to issue cards that would glorify Russian Olympic champions,” Parfenova noted.

Figure skaters Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov were the first to appear on the initial issue of four million VISA cards. The venture proved successful and the bank decided to continue the tradition.

This year it issued another four VISA cards baring the iconic Olympic rings, images of two Olympic gymnastics champions and two Olympic track and field champions.

But Sberbank is not stopping there. “In 2008, we are planning an advertising campaign along with Russian airline Aeroflot and Visa International.  This years Olympic Games theme will unite millions of people around the globe. Obviously, Sberbank is taking advantage of this opportunity and will be supporting the Russian Olympic movement,” said Kirill Larionov, Sberbank card department manager.