Nissan estimates Champions League cumulatively reaches 4bn people

Nissan estimates Champions League cumulatively reaches 4bn people

Nissan is declining to put a value on its four-year sponsorship deal of the UEFA Champions League announced yesterday (7 April), but official partners in the competition are reportedly paying GBP45m (US$75m) per year for the rights.

The automaker replaces Ford, which is withdrawing its sponsorship after a 21-year relationship with UEFA that has seen the US manufacturer promote its Mondeo, B-Max, S-Max and Focus models.

Nissan's deal, which places it alongside established backers such as Gazprom, Adidas and Heineken, is the Japanese automaker's largest ever sponsorship, although it is not revealing financial details.

"It is a four-year deal, but we are not putting a number on it," Nissan vice president marketing Europe Bastien Schupp, told just-auto.

"I am not allowed to discuss any of the numbers."

The deal will see Nissan sponsor the competition from 2014/2015 to 2017/2018  and also includes the UEFA Super Cups in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

"UEFA only negotiates on a three-year basis - that is the length of the deals you have with broadcasters," said Schupp.

"It is actually quite exceptional we have a four-year deal - we went to bid for the 2015-2018 period but we managed to [have] 2014 as well."

Ford's 21-year sponsorship of the UEFA competition ranks as one of its longest ever partnerships.

The US manufacturer remains equally reticent concerning the value of its two decades deal, but it has used brands such as the Ford Focus to reach a global audience through television break bumpers, stadium perimeter boards and online channels.

As an official partner, Nissan will have rights to matches, pre-game training sessions, content, media, hospitality, events and the final, which next year takes place in Berlin.

"By using this [sponsorship] over a long period of time from the season starting...that allows us to to get excitement on a regular basis," said Schupp.

"The way you bid for Champions League is not paying a licence fee, it is by bidding for a certain amount of weeks.

Schupp added television is "definitely one big element," but Nissan would also use the deal to drive internal processes such as dealer motivation.

Nissan estimates the Champions League has a cumulative television audience of more than four billion people per season.

"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 number one Asian car manufacturer in Europe by 2016," said Schupp.

"We're excited and very much looking forward to the new season kicking off at the UEFA Super Cup in Cardiff on 12 August."

Nissan is already a sponsor of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Olympic Teams GB and Mexico, the Africa Cup of Nations, NCAA Football, Heisman Trophy and the Canadian Football League, while 100m record holder, Usain Bolt, is a GT-R ambassador.