Nissan ain’t being shy with its strategy of hitching brand expansion efforts to sport sponsorship deals. Alongside sponsorship of ICC and UEFA tournaments, Nissan recently announced a massive deal to back 100 American colleges across 22 sports.
We’re talking college juggernauts such as Ohio State, University of Texas and Oklahoma. We’re also talking about a new ability to leverage its association with America’s second most popular spectator sport: college football.
To give its new deal some initial traction, Nissan has gone innovative. It’s launched a free Diehard Fan app, which allows fans to use a photo or video of themselves to virtually paint their face with any of the 100 colleges’ colours. Before you dismiss the app’s capabilities, you really should take a look below. The finished product is remarkably life-like.
This is a pretty shrewd move. It allows Nissan to edge its brand into fans’ consciousness by tapping into the tribal, fervent nature of US college sports. Nissan is injecting itself into the heart of a college sports ecosystem typified by old rivalries, the thrill of wearing the same school colours as parents or grandparents and raw, passionate support of a current school or alma mater. Further, the app serves as a credential to show Nissan understands the college sports landscape.
On its technological merits alone, the app is a fun, novel and conversation-generating way of establishing a connection with the market.
With some colleges home to 100,000 plus capacity football stadiums, college sports running 11 months of the year and extensive cable TV coverage, Nissan decision to go big could well end up with a touchdown.