Mumbai: In its effort to increase visibility in the Indian sub-continent, Japanese automobile brand Nisaan has signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with International Cricket Council (ICC).
Nissan will sponsor international key tournaments like the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC World Twenty20, as well as Under-19 and Women’s Cricket and qualifying events.
Roel de Vries, corporate vice president, and global head of marketing and brand strategy for Nissan said: “It’s been almost five years since we decided to invest in cricket sponsorships. However, since globally our strategy has been to associate with big ticket properties in all sports, we wanted a long-term association with the ICC and get World Cup level tournaments. We have been involved with cricket before this, but at the grass-root level.”
The company has not disclosed the size of the deal. The ICC deal is part of the automaker’s strategy to sponsor sporting events globally. Roel de Vries said that around five per cent of the company’s annual marketing budget is dedicated to sports marketing. Other initiatives around sports sponsorships include the UEFA Champions League, the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, NBA (broadcast) sponsorship in China and college level sports sponsorships in the US.
Nissan has replaced Hyundai as the automobile partner with ICC. The governing body for international cricket is expected to make more such announcements for the 2015-2023 cycle in the coming months. Its partners until the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 included Pepsi, LG, Reliance, Emirates, Reebok, Castrol and MoneyGram apart from Hyundai.
Sports marketing experts estimate the company’s spends on the sponsorship in the range of $3-5 million a year or up to $40 million over the eight-year period. The various partners of the ICC are categorised as tier 1, 2, 3 and so on. For the previous cycle, which ended with 2015 Cricket world Cup, Reliance a tier-1 sponsor, paid $90-100 million over eight years.
Commenting on the agreement, David Richardson, chief executive, International Cricket Council, said: “The ICC is delighted to welcome Nissan on board as a Global Partner and we look forward to working together for the next eight years to deliver a strong partnership at all ICC global events. Nissan is one of the world’s leading motor companies and boasts of a strong international presence in both new and established markets. Nissan’s values are closely aligned to those of the ICC, to be innovative, with a strong focus on delivering exciting and unique experiences for our fans and stakeholders.”
Guillaume Sicard, President Nissan India Operations, commented: “In India, cricket goes way beyond simply being a sport. It is practically a way of life for millions of people. I believe we have found a perfect partner for our brand. Our goal is to achieve 5% market share in India by 2020 and we have already invested substantially to build one of our most advanced plants and established one of our three global R&D centres. Now we are keen to repeat in India the sales success we already have in Europe, China, the US, Japan and elsewhere.”
“Cricket itself will not do this. But cricket together with the dealers, good customer satisfaction and with good products gives us a very good chance,” said Roel de Vries, global head of marketing and brand strategy at Nissan. Nissan spends about 5% of its marketing budget on sponsoring sports events.
Next year will see the first event, which will see Nissan as the sponsor of ICC World Twenty20.
India is forecast to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020. The slowdown in India sales has forced Nissan and its global carmaking alliance partner Renault SA to cut several hundred jobs in the country and reduce production at its plant near Chennai.
ICC is cricket’s world governing body and India is a key member and its biggest revenue contributor. Nissan’s decision comes amid media reports that PepsiCo wants to end its title sponsorship of the scandal-hit Indian Premier League (IPL), one of the world’s richest sports leagues with $3.5 billion estimated brand value.