Nissan confirms four-year Champions League deal

Nissan will use its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League as a global platform to showcase the excitement behind its cars and fuel efforts to become the number one Asian car manufacturer in Europe by 2016. 

Nissan plans to use the Champions League tournament to become the number one Asian car manufacturer in Europe by 2016.

The car maker has signed a four-year deal, as first revealed by Marketing Week last month, replacing Ford as the governing body’s automotive partner from next season. Nissan claims the multi-million pound tie-up is its “largest ever” as it steps up efforts to widen its pan-European footprint.

It joins current sponsors including Adidas, Heineken and Playstation and will have extensive rights to matches, pre-match training sessions, content, media, events and the Final. The car marque is said to be planning a launch campaign at this season’s Champions League final in Lisbon, Portugal, which is expected to be watched by more than 300 million people in more than 200 countries.

The deal will officially come into play around the UEFA Super Cup contest, which is being played at Cardiff this summer (12 August).

Roel de Vries, corporate vice president and global head of marketing and communications for Nissan, said it planned to introduce “new ways” in which to “enrich” the Champions League experience. The move chimes with UEFA’s ongoing efforts to offer more value around its commercial packages that has seen it already develop a social media strategy to boost fan engagement.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events, said the partnership would provide a “great deal” of “innovation and excitement” across all markets worldwide.

The deal sees Nissan become only the second car brand associated with the event after Ford announced it was cutting its 22-year link at the end of the current season. It is understood Nissan offered a “sizeable fee” to organisers before Ford started re-negotiating for the next cycle, and ultimately chose not to match it, according to a source a close the matter.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed but current UEFA sponsorship packages are reportedly worth more than £45m per year.

Other Nissan sports sponsorship deals include the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Olympic Teams GB and Mexico and Africa Cup of Nations football tournament.