Land of the rising City: Blues turn Japanese with Nissan sponsorship deal as they eye Asia expansion

Manchester City’s bid for world domination has been stepped up a notch after the Premier League champions penned a deal with Japan car giant Nissan.

The five-year partnership also sees the Sky Blues team up with J-League side Yokohama F•Marinos, owned by the car manufacturer, in a move that echoed the City Football Group (CFG) recent takeovers in the United States and Australia.

After falling foul of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules in May, signing with Nissan may also ease fans’ fears that City chiefs are not doing enough to comply with the Champions League regulations.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of City Football Group said: “We are delighted to be working with Nissan as CFG’s first group-wide global partner. Nissan is a leader in innovation and sustainability –values which are also at the heart of our own organisation.

“Through our investment in, and support of, the Yokohama F•Marinos it has become very clear that Nissan and CFG also share a common passion and ambition for further growth and development.

“As a result, this new partnership presents us both with incredibly exciting opportunities to collaborate through football both in Japan and across the world.”

The collaboration follows the previous agreement between the two organisations, announced in May of this year, which saw CFG assume a minority stake in the Far East side.

Nissan have become the official automotive sponsor of the club and the first global partner of the CFG network.

As a part of the deal, the Nissan name and logo will appear on Manchester City shirts for both men’s and women’s sides – as the ladies’ lead sponsor – as well as inside The Etihad stadium.

The partnership will see Nissan electric vehicles being used around the City Football Academy which is due to be opened later this year.

Founded as the car giant’s company team, Yokohama F•Marinos were formed by the merger of the city’s Marinos, Spanish for ‘sailors’, and Flügels sides 15 years ago.

However, there has been no indication that the club are set to be rebranded once again at this stage as CFG have done in New York and Melbourne.

In a similar move, City will provide ‘knowledge, expertise and services’ to the Japanese club as they have done in the past by letting Melbourne City train in Carrington and New York boss Jason Kreis visit Manchester.

Marinos are the longest-serving team in the top flight of Japanese football having played at that level since 1982.

Having won the division three times, they are one of only four teams to have competed in Japan’s top flight of football for every season since its inception.

“Nissan has always been immensely proud of its place in Yokohama F•Marinos history and is now privileged to be part of the story of CFG and their network of fantastic global football teams,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO.

The CFG partnership is another example of Nissan revving up their involvement in sport with deals penned to sponsor the Uefa Champions League, Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Team GB among others.

“This innovative partnership enhances Nissan’s investment in the game of soccer which is a key platform to further strengthen our brand globally,” said President Ghosn.

“Additionally, the value in kind deal will see Nissan introduce the world’s best-selling electric vehicle to the world’s fastest growing football team, an example of how the collaboration will pair innovation with innovation to bring the excitement of Nissan and soccer to customers around the world.”

Rivals Manchester United have traditionally had a strong presence in Asia with Japan star Shinji Kagawa currently on their books.

And the Red Devils also signed a multi-season sponsorship agreement with food brand – and car manufacturer sound-a-like – Nissin yesterday.

Images courtesy of Kloeffon and MCFC via Youtube with thanks

Related Articles