UEFA sponsorship scores first-year goal for Nissan

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Barcelona won the Nissan-sponsored 2015 UEFA Champions League final last weekend in the German capital, beating Italy’s Juventus 3-1 and bringing the season’s end to a fever pitch.

Nearly 70,000 soccer fans descended on Berlin’s Olympiastadion to see the best of the best European clubs and international players in one of the most-watched global matches of the year.

A new player this year also was Nissan, which made a name for itself in soccer after becoming the Official Automotive sponsor and global partner last June.

“Champions League is the biggest annual sporting event in the world,” said Bastien Schupp, vice president, Marketing, Nissan Europe. “It’s a great platform for Nissan to be present in, to be visible, to get our values across, to promote our range of electric vehicles. For us, on top of being a fun environment, it’s a great place to promote the Nissan brand.”

Nissan’s brand recognition with European soccer has climbed to 25 percent, driven by events in 90 markets and nearly one million engagements for Goal of the Week – in which fans vote on their favorite goal from the weekly UCL match.

Nissan electrified the German capital for the final, supplying 100 EVs and setting up 129 charging points.

Activities transformed the excitement of fans into kilowatts to power the trophy’s journey via e-NV200 from the iconic Brandenburg Gate to the Olympiastadion.

“Ever since Day One, when we met UEFA, we’ve been promising we would come here, we would electrify Berlin, and we would do something that no other brand in the world could do,” said Gareth Dunsmore, general manager, Marketing and Communications, Nissan Europe. “We’ve put in place over a hundred Nissan LEAFs and e-NV200s into Berlin to move people from the airport, to the stadium, to the fan festival. And with that comes a massive infrastructure project that we’ve put in place. And, we wouldn’t be Nissan if we didn’t do it in our own personal way.”

Central to Nissan’s UEFA partnership are its global ambassadors. Andres Iniesta, the No. 8 central midfielder for Barca, helped his team find victory for its fourth title in nine years and was hailed as the final’s Man of the Match.

Dutch legendary footballer Marco Van Basten, a Nissan ambassador for the final, spoke to the excitement and importance of legacy.

“You have big clubs and both have a lot of good players and a lot of supporters, so the tension is very high,” said van Basten. “That’s what counts, and that makes the difference. You have all Juventus fans and Barcelona fans, and they live for the football. They live for the players. And for them, it’s also one of these days that you remember, and they talk about it. We’re all together here and have a nice memory for a day like this. So, for everyone it’s a special day.”

Keeping that excitement is the automaker’s goal over the next three years of its UEFA partnership, as Nissan establishes its own legacy in soccer.

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