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Nissan inks five-year deal with Manchester City

Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn (second from the right) holds a Manchester City jersey with Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano, right, as they pose with Akira Kaetsu, president of the Yokohama F Marinos and player Manabu Saito in Yokohama, Japan. Nissan will become a sponsor of City Football Group. The “80” on the soccer jersey refers to Nissan’s 80 years in business.

YUYA SHINO/REUTERS

English Premier League champion Manchester City has signed Nissan as the first global sponsor of its portfolio of clubs.

The marketing deal, announced Thursday at Nissan's world headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, is for five years and is reportedly worth £20 million ($36.6 million Canadian), although financial terms were not released.

The partnership means the auto maker will be involved in the City Football Group (CFG), which includes The Blues, City Women's FC (FA WSL), New York City FC (MLS), Melbourne City FC (A-League) and Yokohama F Marinos (J-League). As well, Nissan will have a strong brand presence at Etihad Stadium, the club's home field. The collaboration builds upon a deal in May in which CFG acquired a minority stake in the Nissan-owned F Marinos.

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"Nissan has always been immensely proud of its place in Yokohama F Marinos history and is now privileged to be part of the story of CFG and their network of fantastic global football teams," said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and CEO. "This innovative partnership enhances Nissan's investment in the game of soccer which is a key platform to further strengthen our brand globally."

Nissan Leaf electric vehicles will be used when the Manchester City soccer academy opens later this year. And the Nissan logo, which already adorns the front of the J-League team's jersey, will be across the back of the Manchester City women's team shirt. It will not, however, be on the men's team kit. The club has a shirt sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways.

General Motors' Chevrolet brand sponsors City's crosstown rivals, Manchester United.

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