Nexen CEO Travis Kang (left of shirt) celebrates the signing with key Manchester City dignitaries and players including team manager Pep Guardiola (far right)
South Korean tyre manufacturer extends sponsorship for 3 more years
Nexen Tire has become Manchester City and the English Premier League’s first ever sleeve sponsor. The move announced today (17 March 2017) at Manchester City Football Academy, came as Nexen renewed its partnership with the top-flight football club for three more years following the initial contract signed between Nexen and Manchester City (Man City) in August 2015. This takes the sponsorship right up to the 2019/2020 season. No specific financial details were revealed, but Tyres & Accessories understands that the new contract represents “increased investment on the previous deal”, according to Man City chief commercial officer, Tom Glick.
Glick explained that once the board had agreed that the sleeve position would be sold, there was significant interest in the sponsorship prospect. Nevertheless, Nexen – which had the “home advantage” of already being a significant sponsorship partner won out. Despite the fact that Man City has made more shirt advertising space available, Glick was quick to point out that the shirt will not end up looking like something out of a Formula 1 “logoland”. Neither should the Nexen deal take away from the primary shirt sponsor (Glick added that there is not evidence that this would be the case anyway). Rather the move is designed to replace space that is currently occupied by the non-commercial Premier League logo.
As a result of Nexen’s continued and enhanced cooperation with Man City, the Nexen Tire logo will appear on the Sleeve of the official Manchester City shirt for all Premier League games from the start of the 2017/18 Premier League season onwards. The partnership has also been extended to include Women’s Super League and League Cup winners Manchester City Women.
International marketing opportunities
Asked by journalists whether the deal would be expanded to include any other City Group brands – which include New York City – Glick left the door open but suggested this may happen in some markets with some restrictions. Either way, English Premier League football (known as EPL soccer) has become a growing stable of Saturday morning and Sunday morning sport viewing since the early 2010s, especially since NBC signed a broadcast deal with the league. As a result, it would not be foolish to infer that Nexen’s investment in the UK football team sought to expand the brand’s marketing reach beyond the UK and Europe, with North America a key pull factor too.
“As a Korean company, we consider it an honour to announce the first EPL Club sleeve branding partnership for one of the world’s greatest football clubs, Manchester City, introducing the Nexen Tire brand to football fans worldwide,” Travis Kang, CEO Nexen Tire commented, adding: “Utilising Manchester City and Nexen Tire’s partnership as a key strategic marketing platform, Nexen Tire expects to increase the value of its business as a global company. At Nexen Tire, our world-class products continue to make inroads with customers around the world.”
Ferran Soriano, chief executive of Manchester City, added: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Nexen Tire. At Manchester City, we are always striving to take an original approach to our commercial partnerships, creating great relationships and great content for our fans. We are especially pleased to be the first Premier League Club to secure an Official Sleeve Parner. Nexen is an exciting and growing global brand and we are extremely happy both to have extended and grown our relationship.”