Nissan has locked down sponsorships for 100 colleges and universities — from the University of Alabama to the University of Wisconsin — in what the automaker is calling the “widest-reaching sponsorship in the history of collegiate sports.”
The four-year-deal includes permanent Nissan signage in hundreds of stadiums and arenas and gives the company the rights to use school logos in TV ads. All told, the pact will cover 22 men’s and women’s sports at the schools, allowing the automaker to reach 22 million alumni and 188 million fans nationwide, according to estimates provided by Nissan.
“We saw this as a white space,” he said in an interview. “There is no one activating it in automotive at this scale nationally 11 months out of the year, always on.”
Nissan, he said, created a custom marketing playbook for each school. So for instance, regional and local TV ads for Nissan and its dealers will be tagged with logos and slogans for the local university — such as a “Hook ’em Horns” message in Nissan ads in Texas. Plans also include print, radio and social media ads as well as in on-campus publications.
There will be plenty of on-the-ground marketing, too. This weekend, for instance, Nissan is setting up face-painting booths at several campuses at which the deal begins immediately, including Ohio State and the University of Southern California.
To hype its new association, Nissan is launching a “Diehard Fan” app that allows fans to virtually paint their faces in their favorite team colors. Fans can choose from designs representing nearly all 100 collegiate teams in the new deal. The app allows fans to put virtual face paint over an existing picture or portrait. The designs were created by hand-painting them on human models and then digitally remastering them for the app.
About the app: http://www.nissanusa.com/diehard-fan-app/
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Why It’s Hot
Overall, this is a cool idea for this brand to become involved in ads promoting one of the most popular American sports which will allow them to appeal and target to a younger demographic. Also, this type of app/sponsorship opportunity ties nicely into the Superbowl hype which is already a tough day for brands to showcase their work and stand out. Knowing this, Nissan has already claimed an advantage over other automotive brands.