Nissan ‘stoked’ with Openfield

500 317 Openfield

After the fireworks that took place in the final over of the ICC Twenty20 Final between West Indies and England, we just couldn’t resist the headline to this article.

With an improbable 19 runs for the West Indies to get off the final over, up stepped England’s fiery Ben Stokes to bowl to little known number 8 batsman, Carlos Brathwaite. What followed in the next 4 balls is the stuff of cricket folklore, as Brathwaite smashed 4 sixes in a row to absolutely demolish England’s confidence that was sky high only a few minutes before.

And that is the nature of Twenty20 cricket: it’s a game where you experience highs and lows and if you do not adapt, you fail. When you look at it closely, there are a lot of similarities between an actual game of Twenty20 cricket and the work that Openfield delivered for Nissan, official global partner to the ICC.[/fusion_text][/one_half][fusion_text]This year Nissan signed an 8 year deal with the ICC (International Cricket Council) which sees them become a Global Partner for all ICC events. Nissan tasked Openfield to come up with ways to ensure that the sponsorship was relevant in South Africa, especially during the ICC World Twenty20 which took place in India. Considering there are currently no ICC events scheduled to take place in South Africa, this was easier said than done.

But coming up with solutions for our clients is exactly what we at Openfield do. Openfield identified two well-known South African cricketers to be Nissan Ambassadors. In order to align the ambassadors to Nissan’s values and performance of its vehicles, the best fast bowler in world cricket Dale Steyn, and rising star for the Proteas Kagiso Rabada, were chosen to fulfill the Nissan ambassador roles. A perfect fit for Nissan!

During the tournament, Dale and Kagiso were expected to deliver on a number of sponsorship duties which included recording video snippets of life while in India, promoting Nissan’s Play of the Day and Nissan’s #MomentstThatCount hashtag. All well and good… but what happens if the team does not perform as expected on the cricket pitch?

You adapt! Openfield kept a close look on all media and social media platforms and as soon as it became apparent that negativity was becoming prevalent, it was decided that the content should change from a South African viewpoint to focus more on tournament news and general ICC and Nissan related content. First and foremost the players and team need to be protected from any negativity in order to concentrate on their cricket performance priorities.

In order to leverage the global Nissan sponsorship in South Africa a comprehensive PR plan was developed and rolled out across a number of leading platforms. The plan had three main elements: The ‘Voice of Nissan’, print media and TV appearances.

The ‘Voice of Nissan’ was used as a way to give Nissan South Africa a presence in India.  Openfield used a well-known cricket journalist to give a Nissan perspective from the World Twenty20. All ‘Voice of Nissan’ content was used across Nissan’s digital platforms and was taken up by SABC too.

Openfield PR also organised a full-page interview in the Sunday Times with both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada, as well as an exclusive appearance for Kagiso Rabada on SABC where he discussed cricket as well as his Nissan ambassadorial role. The PR efforts resulted in over R900 000 added PR value on SABC alone.

All in all the PR value Openfield has been able to give Nissan is in excess of R2,8 million and that was just in the first month of our association with Nissan. We still have 11 months to go!

I would like to officially thank you and your team on the excellent support and value Openfield has added to the ICC campaign

This campaign worked at all levels at a different pace, quality, value add etc. and a lot of this can be attributed to your team.

BA sponsorships at this level is very new for NSA specifically, so your knowledge, talent, knowhow and go getter attitude is appreciated and is also setting a benchmark for any further sponsorships at this caliber.

Again thank you and well done.

Nancy Reddy – Senior Brand Manager, Nissan SA