Nissan, Chevrolet Inaugurate Global Soccer Programs

Nissan Motor Co. has inked a four-year global partnership with the UEFA Champions League football (soccer), including the UEFA Super Cup. The automaker, which says the deal is its largest ever sponsorship, makes Nissan an official partner worldwide from this year through the 2017-18 seasons.

Roel de Vries, corporate VP and global head of marketing and communications for Nissan’s global operations in Yokohama, Japan, said, in a statement, that the UEFA Champions League has a cumulative television audience of over 4 billion a season. The idea is to keep the brand front of mind, especially to the European fan contingent.

The automaker says it will have full rights to the matches, pre-match training sessions, content, media, hospitality, events and the Final.

“European growth is important to Nissan, and in UEFA we feel we have found the perfect partner to help us achieve our business goal of becoming the nunber-one Asian car manufacturer in Europe by 2016," said Bastien Schupp, VP marketing, Nissan Europe, in a statement. The partnership ramps up with the UEFA Super Cup in Cardiff, Wales, Aug. 12.

Nissan global has also signed on as sponsor of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Olympic Teams GB and Mexico; Africa Cup of Nations; NCAA Football; Heisman Trophy; and Canadian Football League. Wrapped into the campaigns will be Olympic sprint-meister and ambassador for the Nissan GT-R sports car Usain Bolt.

But here comes Chevrolet down the pitch. The GM brand, which is also vying for bigger share in Europe and has a multi-year deal with soccer monolith Manchester United, is sponsoring the team's first-ever match in Michigan on Aug. 2. They will be playing Real Madrid at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor as part of the Guinness International Champions Cup. “The Big House,” where the University of Michigan plays, is the largest stadium in the U.S., and number three after Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, and Salt Lake Stadium in West Bengal, India. 

The pre-season game also debut's Chevrolet's bow-tie logo on Manchester United jerseys. The effort, at ChevroletFC.com, is tied into the global “What Do You #PlayFor”  campaign that launched last month with non-profit One World Futbol as cause partner. 

Chevrolet said it is also official vehicle of the ICC comprising eight European clubs competing July 24 through Aug. 4 at U.S. venues post-World Cup.

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