Super Bowl

Nissan to Sit Out Super Bowl 50

Automaker Focusing on Massive College-Sports Effort

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Advertising Age Player

One year after returning to NFL Super Bowl advertising for the first time in 18 years, Nissan Motor Co. is back off the field.

The company said Wednesday that it has decided to skip Super Bowl 50.

Nissan joins Ford Motor Co. on the Super Bowl sidelines this year.

Nissan spokeswoman Jeannie Whited said the automaker is focusing this year on a different sports-marketing strategy and wants to put more resources into that campaign.

The new strategy, announced last November, makes Nissan an official sponsor of 100 colleges and universities around the country, and puts Nissan's name, logo and products onto college sports events for the next four years.

"The Super Bowl was a significant and effective moment for us, but it's not the ongoing experience that we want to create," Whited said of the decision. "Our new involvement with college sports is far-reaching rather than being a one-time event. And it also allows us to bring in our local retailers to participate."

The college campaign got off the ground late last year with the first 27 participating schools. Other colleges will be added throughout this spring, Ms. Whited said.

The program incorporates local dealerships into game-day marketing efforts, and places Nissan branding on sports facilities, scoreboards, programs and other media across a spectrum of sports.

A year ago, Nissan used the Super Bowl to reveal its soon-to-be-released 2016 Maxima. The spot created a narrative of a father and son bonding over the four-door sports car, but also gave viewers a glimpse into Nissan's global racing program.

Nissan recently used a different nationally televised football game -- this month's college championship -- to air a 90-second ad, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day introducing the new Titan XD pickup that called out Chevy and Ford.

Jeremy Tucker, Nissan's VP-marketing, recently told Ad Age sibling Automotive News that his team worked on the Titan ad for most of 2015, and that there were no plans to air it during the 2016 Super Bowl.

Lindsay Chappell is a reporter for Automotive News.

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