Nissan Renames Nashville's NFL Stadium

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Nissan North America has won naming rights for its hometown NFL stadium here where the Tennessee Titans play.

The name “Nissan Stadium” will go above the field on a highly visible landmark in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, a region where Nissan employs more than 10,000 people.

The marketing agreement will allow Nissan to crown the stadium for 20 years. But the pair-up also comes at a serendipitous moment for the automaker: Late this year in the midst of football season, Nissan will launch a major introduction of its redesigned full-size pickup — coincidentally named the Titan.

“That’s quite a cool coincidence for us,” said Fred Diaz, Nissan’s senior vice president for U.S. sales and marketing and operations. “But this is really a way to showcase Nissan’s presence and involvement here in the heartland of the United States. This is going to make our employees and customers here very proud.”

The NFL stadium is a landmark visible from the expressways that encircle downtown Nashville. Diaz said Nissan will repaint the stadium in the automaker’s bright-red brand color as part of the deal.

Nissan employs about 1,700 people in sales and marketing roles in the area, including its North American headquarters just south of the city. Nissan moved to the area from Los Angeles in 2006 and has steadily expanded its staff since.

The company’s auto plant complex in Smyrna, Tennessee, just southeast of Nashville, employs an additional 8,400, and is currently the nation’s largest-volume assembly plant, producing the Altima, Maxima, Leaf, Pathfinder, Rogue and Infiniti QX60.

Nearly 1,800 additional employees work at Nissan’s powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee, about 90 minutes away.

Nissan Stadium will replace the Tennessee Titans’ current stadium name, LP Field — named after building materials producer Louisiana-Pacific Corp.

The move deepens Nissan’s marketing efforts in sports. The company has a heavy advertising commitment with the NFL, and returned to Super Bowl advertising in February after an 18-year absence.

Nissan is also a key sponsor of college football’s Heisman Trophy Trust, which awards the trophy every year. Last year, the Heisman went to University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. In April, Mariota was drafted as the new quarterback of the Tennessee Titans.

Diaz said football and sports in general play into Nissan’s "Fewer, Bigger, Better" marketing strategy. The concept is to devote more ad dollars to events and media that make larger splashes.

“We’re going after that sports base,” Diaz said. “In the DVR era, when people record their TV shows and fast-forward through the commercials, sporting events are something that viewers want to see live.”

Nissan Stadium will be the third NFL stadium currently bearing an automaker’s name. Detroit’s Ford Field opened in 2002 and Mercedes-Benz bought the naming rights to New Orleans’ Superdome, a frequent Super Bowl host, in 2011. In addition, basketball’s Houston Rockets play in the Toyota Center and hockey’s Anaheim Ducks play in the Honda Center.

This article originally appeared on Automotive News.

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