Mariota moves into 'Heisman House,' gets keys to an SUV

Marcus Mariota officially has taken his place under the same fictional roof as more than a dozen other all-time college football greats.

By virtue of the fact that he was the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, the Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback was granted residence in the Heisman House on Tuesday.

Rather than receive a key to a front door that does not actually exist, however, he was given the keys to a very real 2015 Nissan Armada SUV at the automaker’s North America headquarters in Franklin.

From Business Wire:

Now entering its fifth year, the popular Heisman House marketing campaign features a series of video vignettes, a traveling college campus/stadium tour and social media elements, including the opportunity for fans to vote online for their favorite Heisman Trophy candidates. In 2014 Nissan’s official crowed-sourced vote, with more than 400,000 participants, went to Mariota.

“On behalf of all Nissan employees, we are pleased to welcome you, Marcus, to the Heisman House. We hear you more than held your own against some of the Heisman veterans during the production of the spots,” Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, U.S.A., Nissan North America, Inc., said, according to Business Wire. “We also want to extend a heartfelt welcome to Nashville and to our Nissan family. Your new Armada will look right at home parked at Nissan Stadium.”

Mariota is one of 14 Heisman winners who will be featured in broadcast and social media commercials and shorts that will air throughout the football season.

The first ones to feature him will debut Sept. 3 and will add to his rapidly growing public presence. Even before he has played his first NFL game he has signed a number of regional and national sponsorship deals.

(Photo: Nissan/North America)

Jul 29, 2015 1:12 PM

Nissan June sales rise 13.3%

Nissan announced today June sales of 124,228 vehicles, an increase of 13.3 percent compared to June 2014 sales and a June record.

The record comes as Nissan saw May U.S. sales of 134,779 vehicles, a decrease of 0.8 percent compared to May 2014 sales, according to a release.

Nissan Division (which does not include the company's Infinity division) finished the month at 114,243 vehicle sales, up 13 percent on a unit basis.

Infiniti sales in June totaled 9,985, an increase of 16.5 percent.

“Consumer demand for crossovers continues to gain momentum as strong sales gains from Rogue and Murano drove Nissan to a record June,” Fred Diaz, senior vice president of Nissan U.S. sales and marketing and operations, said in the release. “We also continue to ramp up availability for the all-new 2016 Maxima, which went on sale in June and has quickly become one of the hottest products in the Nissan showroom.”

Nissan sold 4,037 Maxima vehicles in June compared to 3,528 in June 2014, an increase of 14.4 percent. May 2014 to May 2015 sales of the Maxima dropped of 51.5 percent.

Likewise, sales of the well-recognized Altima were up month over month (12.7 percent)

Overall sales of Nissan crossovers, trucks and SUVs set a June record, up 30.3 percent.

The Nissan North America Inc. office is based in Franklin.

Jul 1, 2015 12:30 PM

Titans, Nissan see 'great opportunity' with naming rights deal

Sixteen years ago, happenstance created an unforgettable marketing boon for the Tennessee Titans.

The release of the popular movie Remember the Titans coincided with the NFL franchise’s unexpected run to the Super Bowl during the 1999 season. The film only added to the undeniable fairy tale feeling as the team rolled to a 13-3 regular season record and three playoff victories.

If there is actual value in that type of name synergy, the franchise’s new 20-year naming rights deal with Nissan North America might actually put the Titans, who have not reached the postseason since 2008, back on the road to success.

The pact, financial terms for which are not being disclosed, rebrands the team’s home field as Nissan Stadium and guarantees an important revenue stream that extends beyond the current lease. For the automaker, which has its North American headquarters in Franklin, the move comes in advance of its launch of the new American Titan pickup, which is produced at its Smyrna plant.

“It marks an alliance between two companies who value their deep roots in Middle Tennessee,” Kenneth Adams IV, grandson of Tennessee Titans founder Bud Adams and a member of the current ownership group, said in announcing the deal Thursday at the stadium. “… Like the Titans, Nissan clearly values Middle Tennessee.

“We believe that this is a great day for all of us.”

The announcement event drew a broad cross section of Middle Tennessee’s political, business and sports leaders.

In addition to the Titans, Nissan Stadium will continue to be home field for Tennessee State’s football team, a primary locale for the annual CMA Fest and the site of other events, such as next week’s international soccer match between the United States and Guatemala.

“Smart collaboration creates bold opportunity and this is certainly creates a great opportunity for both of these organizations,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “… This stadium is one of the most recognizable features of the Nashville skyline. Its opening back in 1999 was a signal to the rest of the country that Nashville was a big league city.

“Everyone calls us the ‘It City’ now, but getting an NFL team and stadium were important building blocks to our success,” Dean added.

LP Building Products struck a 10-year deal, which has now expired, in 2006 to have its name on the venue. The deal with Nissan came together over a period of 18 months but does not eliminate the team’s ties with Nashville-based LP, which will remain a corporate sponsor and suite holder.

From 1999 through 2002, the facility was known as Adelphia Coliseum. That association fell apart when Adelphia Communications Corp. filed for bankruptcy.

“We’re excited to solidify a long-term deal,” Adams IV said. “We’re obviously on our third name and I think it’s important for us to solidify that name for years. Nissan was on board with that. They certainly didn’t want to have to renegotiate after a few years.

“They’re good with it.”

The question is whether or not the Titans can be a better team because of it.


Jun 25, 2015 3:04 PM

Call it what you will, Titans' home has new naming rights partner

Apparently, entering into a naming rights deal with the Tennessee Titans not only allows a corporation to put its name on the NFL team’s home field, it also provides the opportunity to define the venue.

Adelphia considered the structure on the East bank of the Cumberland River a coliseum. For the last 10 years, LP Building Products viewed it as a field.

Now comes Nissan North America and its belief that it is a stadium.

The Titans have reached an exclusive 20-year agreement with the automaker that will rebrand the facility as Nissan Stadium beginning with the coming season, according to a report from The Tennessean. The report said a formal announcement was to come Thursday.

Downtown-basd LP signed a 10-year deal in 2006 that established LP Field as the Titans’ home. That deal is set to expire this year, although The Tennessean report says that the sides will maintain a business partnership.

The building was called Adelphia Coliseum from 1999 through 2002 and simply The Coliseum in between that deal and the one with LP.

Jun 24, 2015 4:06 PM

Marketers move exec here to help run Nissan account

New VP had been at Detroit firm for seven years
Jun 24, 2015 7:07 AM

Nissan's growing airbag headache

Nissan executives have expanded their recalls of cars that feature airbags made by supplier Takata. The latest notice covers more than 1.5 million vehicles built last decade, with about a fifth of them in North America. Read about the details (and rival Toyota's similar problems) here.

May 13, 2015 10:08 AM

Nissan beefs up sales structure

Regional units added, VPs named
Mar 20, 2015 2:10 PM

Nissan to spend about $160M, create 1,000 jobs in Smyrna

Supplier park facility will span 1.5M square feet, come with $18M incentives package
Mar 17, 2015 3:10 PM

Nissan sets company record for February sales

Nissan announced today its set a February company record with 118,436 sales, an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the February 2014 figure.

The announcement follows an early February announcement that the company established records both for that month and for 2014 with approximately 1.38 million vehicle sales in the U.S, an increase of 11.1 percent compared to the 2013 number.

Nissan, the North America Inc. office for which is based in Franklin, enjoyed strong February sales with its Sentra, which increased 24.4 percent.

Sales of the Rogue, Pathfinder and Infinity QX60 also rose in a healthy manner, the company reported. Specifically, Rogue sales tied a record for any month in its history at 21,419, an increase of 24.6 percent.

In contrast, the Altima mid-sized sedan (which set a January record at 26,408, up 17.3 percent compared to the January 2014 figure) dropped, with 28,474 sales in February compared to 30,849 sales in February 2014.

Similarly, the Maxima saw February 2014 to February 2015 sales drop 48.9 percent after having dropped 46.1 percent the previous reporting period. Sales of Juke, Xterra and Cube were down sharply too, as was the case the last month.



Mar 3, 2015 2:30 PM

Infiniti Americas leader leaves

Recently promoted Nissan exec moving over to luxury unit
Feb 18, 2015 7:06 AM