Premier League be danged. Nissan is backing the global presence of the new City Football Group (CFG), a holding company owned by Abu Dhabi United Group. Even though the CFG comprises 20 Major League Soccer teams, it is run under the aegis of ADUG-owned Premier League team Manchester City FC. Nissan’s five-year global partnership with CFG makes it the official — and first — worldwide sponsor of the group. Nissan happens also to be majority owner of CFG's the Yokohama FMarinos team. The CPG includes Barclays Premier League Champions, Manchester City FC, Manchester City Women's FC, Melbourne City FC and New York City FC, which became the 20th team in the franchise last year. A Nissan release on the deal says City Football Group also owns marketing organizations worldwide.
Nissan's deal makes Nissan official auto sponsor of Manchester City Football Club, which gives it a presence at Etihad Stadium, including product experiences plus rights packages at each of CFG's network of football clubs. Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, at a press conference in Japan, noted that the automaker and the CFG make an agreement two months ago that gave CFG a minority stake in Yokohama FMarinos, giving the team access to its City Football services and City Football marketing companies.
Stated Ghosn, "This innovative partnership enhances Nissan's investment in the game of soccer which is a key platform to further strengthen our brand globally. Additionally, the value in kind deal will see Nissan introduce the world's best-selling electric vehicle to the world's fastest growing football team, an example of how the collaboration will pair innovation with innovation to bring the excitement of Nissan and soccer to customers around the world."
Including one of the world's fastest-growing football clubs in Manchester City FC, the CFG network of football clubs represents an excellent business platform for Nissan as it continues to expand its association with football worldwide. The recent signing of global football star, David Villa, will see the Spanish international play for New York City FC and in Melbourne as a guest player, reflecting the potential of the network's unique business model and driving huge excitement around the new season for both clubs.
Nissan also sponsors the UEFA Champions League, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Olympic Team Great Britain and Mexico, Africa Cup of Nations, NCAA Football, Heisman Trophy, Canadian Football League and sporting ambassadors including Olympics Gold Medalists Usain Bolt and Chris Hoy.
In the U.S., Nissan has is taking an element of American culture worldwide. The Franklin, Tenn.-based Nissan America TK on Thursday signed to be exclusive automotive partner of the Americana Music Association for this year and next. But this sponsorship goes beyond music city. The national and international sponsorship Nissan will feature the 2014 Rogue and LEAF models at Americana's events, including Americana Cross County Lines and the Americana Music Festival and Conference in Nashville. The partnership, via MMA Creative, will give Nissan experiential elements at the events.