- Nissan is returning as an official sponsor of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments with a refresh of its “Road 2” campaign, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The Nissan Ariya, its all-electric vehicle (EV), will serve as the official EV of the tournament.
- Central to the effort are six commercials, which will begin airing March 10. The effort also includes a first-of-its-kind tie-up with TikTok Now, the app’s BeReal copycat tool, to encourage fans to post a video of their live viewing experience. Those who also share the post on Instagram will be entered to win four tickets to the 2024 Men’s Final Four game.
- Additional elements of the campaign include in-person activations, a video series with Bleacher Report and an online bracket challenge in partnership with CBS Sports, offering additional opportunities for fans to win prizes including a Nissan Ariya crossover.
With March Madness set to begin on March 14, Nissan is revving up its plans to reach college basketball fans both in-person and at-home, all while keeping its new EV center focus.
A roster of six commercials running through March Madness and the Final Four games will feature Nissan’s lineup of vehicles, including the Ariya, Rogue and Altima, among others. Sixteen well-known team mascots, former players Candace Parker and Kenny Smith and current University of South Carolina Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb will also make an appearance.
The carmaker is also said to be the first brand to use TikTok Now, TikTok’s answer to BeReal, alongside a larger activation on the platform. For the chance to win tickets to the 2024 Men’s Final Four game, fans are encouraged to upload their TikTok Now videos to Instagram, a move that could help Nissan expand the campaign’s reach. Additionally, Nissan also created Giphy stickers for use on social media and partnered with Bleacher Report to create a video series challenging fans to basketball contests.
In an additional push to connect with fans virtually, the carmaker partnered with CBS Sports for an online bracket challenge, doubling down on the effort by becoming the co-presenting sponsor of the ESPN’s Women’s Tournament Challenge bracket game. For the effort, consumers can enter selections for both the men’s and women’s bracket challenge, with one winner from each bracket set to win four tickets to next year’s Final Four game. Those who complete both brackets will also be entered into a sweepstakes to win the Nissan Ariya crossover.
Nissan has long taken steps to integrate itself into college athletics. It has a long-running football-centered program, “Heisman House,” which features former Heisman winners. With loosened name, image and likeness restrictions, Nissan was able to have a college-level athlete on the program for the first time.