As a long time sponsor of the NFL, Visa knows that there are millions of fans who are passionate about the game. And so historically, this financial services brand has used its NFL advertising campaigns to highlight that passion and bring it to life. In 2010, it featured the “Never Miss a Super Bowl Club”. A year later, it followed fictional super fan Ned and his journey to the Super Bowl with 10 of his friends. Then last year, Visa took a step by integrating social media into its marketing campaign with #MakeItEpic, which gave NFL fans the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like interviewing Ray Lewis, meeting John Madden or being in the 49ers locker room when Jim Harbaugh gives a game day speech. All of these campaigns put the fans and their love of the football front and center.

We’re happy to see that this year is no different, and if anything it’s even more ambitious. What if instead of getting to see Harbaugh coach his team, you could see him coach your kid’s team? That’s the idea behind #MyFootbalFantasy.

Fans can use Twitter, Instagram or a microsite to declare their football fantasies and then use their Visa card to enter. If they win, Visa will help make the fantasy come true. As you might imagine, the question, “What is your Football fantasy?” is going to elicit a lot of interesting responses. Here are a few of our favorites:

User-Generated Content from Visa MyFootballFantasy Hashtag 01

User-Generated Content from Visa MyFootballFantasy Hashtag 02

User-Generated Content from Visa MyFootballFantasy Hashtag

User-Generated Content from Visa MyFootballFantasy Hashtag

Visa is doing a lot of things right with #MyFootballFantasy. In addition to continuing to bring fans’ passion for football to life, Visa is using social media in a very smart way. Too often we see financial institutions deploying hashtags that have little meaning except as a way to organize content. When deployed poorly, they can become a punch lines, but when done well, hashtags can be effective calls to action. Combined with a diverse media plan that includes rich media mobile ads, Visa is making sure it has a lot of ways to reach its target audience.

We recently observed that Visa’s #GoInSix promotion was a great example of an integrated social media marketing campaign. And with #MyFootbalFantasy, Visa is showing that it can extend this integration to a wider above-the-line effort, as well… which is no small feat.

Visa puts a lot of investment both into its relationship with the NFL and its broadcast advertising, so it wants to get all it can out of those dollars and do more than just blast the airwaves with 30-second spots. This campaign shows Visa can keep up with a rapidly shifting media landscape and stand out with creative that grabs the imagination. In addition, it is able to make a connection with a wide range of consumers by asking for authentic user generated content through a simple and clear call to action.