Nissan inks four-year deal as sponsor of the Champions League

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 8, 2014

Nissan has agreed to a four-year partnership with UEFA, becoming the automotive sponsor of the Champions League. The sponsorship deal, which is Nissan’s largest to date, is part of its goal to dethrone Toyota as the best-selling Asian brand in Europe. Nissan Europe's marketing boss Bastien Schupp said in a statement that, the carmaker has found the perfect partner in UEFA to help it achieve a business goal of becoming the No. 1 Asian carmaker in Europe by 2016.

While Nissan did not disclose the amount of the sponsorship deal, sports marketing analysts peg UEFA's latest sponsorship packages at over than GBP45 million ($75 million) annually, according to Marketing Week. The magazine said Nissan offered a "sizeable fee" to UEFA before Ford started re-negotiating its Champions League sponsorship, which has already reached its 21st year.

The agreement entails Nissan becoming an official Champions League sponsor starting in 2014-2015 up to and including the 2017-2018 seasons. Ford announced in March it was terminating its sponsorship of the Champions League, with the final game set in Lisbon on May 24.

Roel de Vries, Nissan's global marketing head, in the statement that the Champions League will be an important global platform for Nissan, which currently behind Toyota and Hyundai in European sales. Toyota sold 518,546 units in the EU and EFTA regions in 2013 for a 4.2-percent market share, according to data from industry association ACEA.

Hyundai, meanwhile, sold 422,930 units for a 3.4-percent share. Nissan sold 422,213 units last year, for a 3.4-percent share. The Japanese carmaker is expecting its newly launched second-generation Qashqai compact SUV and an new compact hatchback to boost its sales volume in Europe.

“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 #1 Asian car manufacturer in Europe by 2016. We’re excited and very much looking forward to the new season kicking off at the UEFA Super Cup in Cardiff on the 12thAugust,” said Bastien Schupp, vice president, Marketing, Nissan Europe. [source: Nissan]

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