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Visa expands women's soccer effort ahead of World Cup



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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Visa will be the presenting sponsor of the player of the match award at the Women's World Cup in France, agreed to a five-year sponsorship with the U.S. Soccer Federation and is launching a campaign with outspoken American star Megan Rapinoe.

The company, a FIFA sponsor since replacing MasterCard in 2007, announced its plans Thursday, eight days before the start of the premier tournament in women's soccer.

Its global advertising campaign "One Moment Can Change the Game" centers on elevating female athletes. Visa's new U.S. ad features Mallory Pugh, Becky Sauerbrunn, Rose Lavelle, Jessica McDonald, Abby Dahlkemper and Adrianna Franch.

Among the international athletes working with Visa are Christine Sinclair (Canada); Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby and Nikita Parris (England); Eugenie Le Sommer (France); Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany); Laura Giuliani (Italy); Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway); Alexia Putellas (Spain); and Kosovare Asllani (Sweden).

Visa also will be the presenting sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup, an annual tournament in the U.S. that started in 2016.

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