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Going for Gold with Brazil

August 2 – London – From iconic double-decker buses and Big Ben to bridges across the River Thames, the city of London is many things to many people.

To visiting Nissan executives, it’s something entirely different: the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“I’m actually here to support the Brazilian team,” said Nissan EVP Andy Palmer. “Nissan is the principal automotive sponsor of Rio 2016. And we’re here to learn everything we can about how a brand like Nissan would interact with the Games in 2016.”

As Brazil and the company grow together, the partnership is one that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has called “a natural fit” – and one by which Nissan will provide a fleet of 4,500 cars for client use during Rio 2016.

Crystal Palace, a former national sports center, is now home to the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the training ground for Brazilian Olympic hopefuls, a team of some 259 strong.

“To understand the size of our Olympics, we need to understand what we need to do from now on to be ready to do the best Olympics of history in Brazil,” said Murilo Moreno, Brazilian Marketing Director.

Murilo Moreno, Marketing Director of Brazil Nissan

One initiative that offers support is the Nissan Team.

“It’s a group of 30 athletes that we are sponsoring to be prepared during these four years. We will help them financially-speaking to have more freedom, to have more tranquility,” said Moreno. “Ex-athletes will give them their experience to make sure that the team will be the best and we will get more medals because Nissan is helping Brazil.”

During a tour of what one athlete called “Casa Nissan”, Francois Dossa, Vice President of Administration and Finance for Nissan Brazil, said the main message in sponsorship is that Nissan is there to stay.

“We want to be committed to Brazil, we want to become a Brazilian company, a carioca company – this is the main message,” said Dossa.

Executives tour Casa Brasil, home of Rio 2016

Nissan is clearly on its way in the world’s sixth largest economy, a major part of Nissan’s Power 88 midterm business plan. Sales nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011 to more than 67,000 vehicles.

In 2014, Nissan will open a new world-class manufacturing plant in Resende, Rio de Janeiro, creating 4,000 new jobs.

“We’ve got the factory, we’ve got the cars. Now we need to tell the stories,” said EVP Palmer.

“There’s really no better way of doing that than to say in 2016 we’re here, we’re the major sponsors of the Brazilian Olympics, and let’s celebrate 2016 together and make sure that everyone understands that Nissan is Brazilian.”

As one member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee said: As of August 13, it is 2016.

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