By Barry Janoff
November 6, 2015: Calling it the "widest-reaching sponsorship in the history of collegiate sports," Nissan today unveiled a four-year deal to become an official sponsor of 100 colleges and universities and a "proud supporter" of select NCAA championships.
According to Nissan, the new series of sponsorships will cover "22 men’s and women’s sports, 100 schools, thousands of student-athletes, 22 million alumni and 188 million fans" nationwide.
The deal builds on Nissan's presence as an official partner for the Heisman Trophy Trust and Infiniti’s status as an official corporate partner for NCAA Men’s Basketball.
“This is big news for Nissan, and it is great news for these amazing student-athletes in every sport who deserve recognition and support,” Jeremy Tucker, vp-marketing communications and media for Nissan North America, said in a statement. “We are celebrating the excitement of all aspects of college sports, and are delighted to honor the drive, dedication, and teamwork of student-athletes, and their fans, throughout the country.”
Nissan said it would support the alliance with marketing under its multi-platform “Go Big” strategy, which the automaker said was launched to "create significant, unforgettable marketing moments such as Nissan’s return to the Super Bowl last season and its partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust."
Support also will include permanent Nissan signage in hundreds of stadiums and arenas for multiple sports, as well as countless media opportunities and tickets for consumer incentives, according to Nissan.
The company also said that student-athletes and fans at each university would benefit from the sponsorship, with support to include "scholarship funds, facilities upgrades (weight rooms, equipment, video boards, Wi-Fi) and tutoring programs."
Nissan is using its college alliances to tout such 2016 vehicles as the Maxima, Sentra, Altima, Rogue and Titan XD.
The Heisman House campaign, which began in 2011 in alliance with ESPN, this year includes more than a dozen former Heisman Trophy winners including Herschel Walker, Jim Plunkett, Eddie George, Charles Woodson, Marsuc Mariota, Sam Bradford, Vinny Testaverde and Robert Griffin III.
The national alliance was "negotiated throughout the summer" in conjunction with the media rights holders for each respective school, including IMG College, Learfield Sports, Outfront Media Sports, Fox Collegiate Sports Properties, JMI Sports and Sun Devil Athletics.
According to Tucker, “This program gives Nissan an unmatched and unprecedented connection to college-sports fans. It allows Nissan to share amazing moments with students, alumni and fans — at every men’s and every women’s sport. Wherever fans go to follow these student-athletes, we’ll be there.”
Nissan said the new pact would kick in this weekend during football games at Ohio State, Alabama, Texas A&M, Oregon and the University of Southern California.
On Nov. 14, activation will extend to Utah State (basketball), Syracuse (football) and Duke University (football), in addition to other sports and locations throughout the campuses.
“This is big news for Nissan, and it is great news for these amazing student-athletes in every sport who deserve recognition and support."
By the end of 2015, Nissan said its on-campus activation would encompass 27 colleges and universities, then reach all 100 schools in 2016.
Also included is a sponsorship with the Red River Showdown between the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma.
Nissan USA's lead agency is TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.
Nissan's Infiniti is an official corporate partner with the NCAA.
NCAA corporate champions AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola are involved with sports and universities nationwide, including all 89 NCAA sports championships.
Nissan has also unveiled a "Diehard Fan" app, calling it the first technology that enables people to virtually paint their faces in team colors using a smartphone or tablet (iOS and select Android devices). According to the company, DieHard Fan App users "can select from thousands of game faces, representing nearly all 100 collegiate teams in Nissan’s sponsorship, to instantly 'paint' on their game face over a favorite picture or video.
“The DieHard Fan mobile app delivers on Nissan’s brand promise of innovation and excitement for everyone,” said Tucker. “This is just one way for sports fans to unleash their colors anywhere, anytime, and engage with Nissan and our college 100 sponsorship of men’s and women’s college sports programs throughout the U.S.”
Nissan Back On Heisman Trophy Road
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