Nissan Agrees to Five-Year Manchester City Soccer Deal

Nissan Motor Co. (7201), the carmaker that owns Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos soccer team, will sponsor Premier League champions Manchester City to boost its brand.

The five-year deal with City Football Group, owner of the Manchester City team, includes an in-kind exchange to introduce the carmaker’s Leaf electric vehicle to the team, the Yokohama, Japan-based company said in a statement today. The automaker didn’t give any financial terms of the agreement.

Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said the agreement will help “strengthen the brand globally,” according to the statement. The carmaker has said it’s targeting an 8 percent global market share, from about 6 percent as of March this year, and the top Japanese car brand position in Europe, without giving a time frame.

General Motors Co. (GM), while pulling its Chevrolet brand out of Europe, is continuing a nine-year Chevy promotional agreement with the Manchester United Plc soccer team. GM’s strategy is to appeal to the club’s fans in Asia, where it continues to sell Chevrolet-brand vehicles.

In April, Nissan signed a four-year deal with the UEFA Champions League, one of the top club competitions.

Today’s deal with City Football Group follows a May agreement in which the group became a minority shareholder in the Yokohama F Marinos, which plays in Japan’s J-League.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ma Jie in Tokyo at; Yuki Hagiwara in Tokyo at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at Dave McCombs, Terje Langeland

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