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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

October 31, 2016 | 4 min read

Nissan has recruited Real Madrid star, Gareth Bale, and Manchester City forward, Sergio Agüero, to help strengthen its position in key global markets through its sponsorship of the Uefa Champions League.

The Japanese car manufacturer has named the Argentine and Welsh international as its global ambassadors and ‘Engineers of Excitement’ for the remainder of the current Champions League campaign.

With two of the most renowned footballers on the planet on board Nissan will hope to capture the attention of football fans and maximise its sponsorship of the tournament which is watched in over 200 territories globally.

Bale and Agüero kick things off with a series of new ads showcasing their skillset and exclusive interviews where each of them discuss their ambitions in the tournament this season.

“We areabsolutely delighted to welcome Bale and Agüero to the Nissan family, as our new ambassadors and Engineers of Excitement,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, vice president for marketing at Nissan Europe.

“As part of the UEFA Champions League partnership, we wanted to work with ambassadors that demonstrate and share our same principles of innovation and excitement. Why them? Because like Nissan they are challenging convention, are true innovators of the game and every time that step on that pitch they deliver excitement to fans.”

As part of its campaign strategy Nissan has released exclusive one-to-one interviews which both Agüero and Bale where they discuss their ambitions for this season’s tournament.

Agüero praised his team and refused to rule out the possibility that Man City could win the tournament this season.

Bale meanwhile discussed the constant pressure which Real Madrid faces to win the Champions League every season.

Jon Rosenblatt, chief executive of Brandtix, commented on how the move could play out for Nissan give the popularity of the two players

“Nissan have chosen two globally recognised superstar footballers with a combined following of 100M social followers," said Rosenblatt.

"They also have the added advantage of utilising their strengths on individual networks to drive different types of content and narrative.

"The only word of caution is that outside of the UK and Spain, there’s very little engagement from social followers in other European countries, so depending on Nissan’s strategy to sell more cars across the continent, they may want to consider driving local ambassador campaigns to compliment the global figureheads of Bale and Aguero”.

Brandtix's data show that the five countries with the most engaged following with Agüero are the UK, Indonesia, Argentina, USA and Nigeria. Bale has almost the exact same geographically engaged fanbase with Spain in place of Argentina. Together the data shows that Nissan will benefit from the players' popularity in the regions.

The latest campaign marks the third season of Nissan’s sponsorship of the competition. In its first year the company's marketing around the Champions League was largely focus on Europe. Since then it has expanded its media coverage to Asia and South Africa as part of its wider brand building efforts in the markets. Sponsorship of Uefa’s prized club tournament gives the Nissan a massive global platform, last year’s final alone drew an estimated 400 million viewers in over 200 countries. In comparison, the Super Bowl generated around 150 million globally.

Nissan has also attempted to strengthen its global brand association with football by partnering with Sky Sports to be the new title sponsor of the Premier League's weekend fixtures.

Marketing Nissan Champions League

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