Speaking to Marketing Week following the announcement this morning (7 April), Nissan’s European marketing vice president Bastien Schupp claims the Nissan brand is “not as strong as it should be” across Europe. While this doesn’t mean that a lot of people have negative opinions of the car marque, a number simply “don’t care” because the brand lacks “clarity”, he claims.
“Today we sponsor lots of smaller disparate events. Individually they make sense but in reality the brand is lost. This is why the brand is not as strong as it should be. If as a person you change your face every other second people don’t recognise you,” he adds.
The Champions League tie-up will see the car marque pull out of smaller sponsorships to focus on doing “less but properly”. Along with its sponsorship of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Nissan is aiming to tie together activity across a number of markets, helping consumers recognise the brand and that it stands for “innovation and excitement”.
The strategy leaves question marks over its continued sponsorship of events such as the African Cup of Nations and Olympic Teams GB and Mexico beyond their current contracts. Nissan signed a deal to sponsor the 2013 and 2015 tournaments in Africa and extended its deal with Team GB to the Rio Olympics.
The Champions League sponsorship is part of Nissan’s mid-term plans to 2016 to “increase brand power”. On a “subliminal” level, Schupp says it is aiming to use the tie-up to raise perceptions of Nissan as one of the “top brands in the world”, with the car marque using the sponsorship for brand level marketing, rather than promoting individual models.