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.
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.
Nissan announced today March sales of 145,085 vehicles, a dip of 2.7 percent compared to March 2014 sales of 149,136 vehicles.
Despite the drop, March represented the second-best U.S. sales month in company history, according to a release.
In addition, for the company’s just-ended 2014 fiscal year, Nissan set an all-time record with 1,399,557 U.S. sales, an increase of 8.9 percent over the 1,285,105 for the company's 2013 fiscal year.
April 1 marks the beginning of Nissan’s 2015 fiscal year.
“Strong crossover demand, including the best month all-time for Rogue, made March the second-best month in our brand’s history,” Fred Diaz, Nissan senior vice president of U.S. sales and marketing/operations, said in the release. “With a record 2014 fiscal year in the books, we expect fresh, new models to help us continue our gains in 2015, such as the all-new Maxima being unveiled this week at the New York Auto Show.”
The Nissan North America Inc. office is based in Franklin.
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.
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