In a nice addition to the team's list of corporate sponsors, the Nashville Predators announced a new multi-year deal with Nissan Americas this afternoon. Since they moved their North American headquarters to suburban Franklin a few years ago, I've been wondering when the Predators might be able to strike up such a deal. Just in the last couple years, for example, we've seen them build stronger ties with other businesses based in the area like Bridgestone for their arena naming rights.
This is definitely a welcome change of pace from the final years of the Craig Leipold regime, during which corporate partnerships seemed to be difficult to come by.
The Preds' press release follows after the jump...
The Nashville Predators and Nissan Americas, two of the most recognizable brands that call Middle Tennessee home, today announced a multi-year partnership naming Nissan the exclusive non-luxury import automotive partner of the Predators and Bridgestone Arena. The announcement was made at a press conference in the soon-to-be-renamed Nissan Atrium at Bridgestone Arena by Predators CEO Jeff Cogen, Vice Chairman of Nissan Americas Bill Krueger and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
Among the highlights of the partnership include Nissan placing its name on the main entrance of Bridgestone Arena (Nissan Entrance) and the atrium just inside the main entrance (Nissan Atrium), branding rights to one of the facility's Zambonis, internal and ice-level signage, in-game sponsorship elements as well as creation of interactive and innovative fan-affinity programs, including game night giveaways. Ticketholders attending tonight's regular season home opener will receive T-shirts, courtesy of Nissan, to celebrate the partnership.
"Nissan's commitment to the Predators and Bridgestone Arena is a welcomed addition," Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen said. "Like the Predators, Nissan is committed to Nashville and Middle Tennessee and this partnership further illustrates that commitment. Nissan's involvement also continues the momentum our franchise and venue have been building on over the last 18 months. We continue to strive to make Bridgestone Arena the top sports and entertainment facility in the country and the Predators the top team in the NHL. Adding another blue-chip multinational partner such as Nissan further strengthens our efforts."
Nissan moved its headquarters for the Americas to Middle Tennessee in 2006, but has had a long and successful presence in the community, dating back to the opening of its plant in Smyrna in 1981. Since that time, Nissan has invested heavily in Tennessee from its powertrain assembly plant in Decherd to its advanced battery plant in Smyrna, that is currently under construction. Bridgestone Arena attracts more than 1.5 million guests to more than 100 sports and entertainment events annually, providing a diverse and wide variety of audiences with access to the Nissan brand and marketing.
In just the past five years, Nissan has donated more than $5 million to Tennessee non-profit organizations such as Second Harvest, Nashville Symphony, Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville Public Television, Oasis Center, Harpeth River Watershed Association and Business Education Partnership Foundation.
"Every year during hockey season this arena becomes a focal point in this community for great hockey action," Vice Chairman of Nissan Americas Bill Krueger said. "Expanding our relationship with the Predators allows us to be part of this excitement while increasing our presence in Middle Tennessee. On top of that, we're big fans of our hometown team."
"I am pleased to see Nissan's new partnership with the Predators and Bridgestone Arena," Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. "These three organizations have demonstrated their commitment to our economy and community, and together they will have a positive impact on Nashville."