An original model in world sports, City Football Group’s global yet locally authentic approach provides its partners with an unrivalled marketing platform to enable deeper, more personal engagement with fans and new and non-traditional audiences.
With a brand-focused approach to partnerships, proven track record of innovation and spirit of collaboration, a growing group of blue chip companies have developed dynamic partnerships with City Football Group.
Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City each has a diverse family of partners, including those who partner with multiple teams.
Manchester City Football Club’s main Club partner since May 2009, Etihad Airways recognised the benefit and relevance of partnering with new City Football Group clubs as the Group has expanded, to allow the world’s leading airline to connect key strategic markets in Manchester, Melbourne and New York and engage new audiences.
Etihad Airways and Manchester City have joined forces to celebrate grassroots football, shining a light on inspiring untold stories from a selection of the airline’s key global gateways.
City2City is a new digital video series in which Etihad Airways and Manchester City visit some of the world’s most popular cities: Beijing, New York, Paris and Mumbai – all of which are important destinations on the Etihad Airways network. The series lifts the lid on how grassroots football inspires, motivates and shapes young lives, while uncovering fascinating aspects of each city.
The first episode in the series visits Beijing to follow the story of Huang and Ding, who by focusing their energies on the sport they love, are inspiring a whole new generation of footballers in China, and has already received 4.4 million views.
We have enjoyed a hugely successful partnership with City Football Group over the past few years. During this time Manchester City and Etihad Airways have in many ways redefined the standards in sports marketing activation. There is no doubt that the global platform the Group provides has supported Etihad Airways’ brand development and enabled us to achieve key strategic objectives.
Etihad has worked with City Football Group to develop a number of innovative programmes to engage and incentivise specific audiences including:
- Global fan competitions to give Etihad guests a chance to win an exclusive Manchester City experience
- Rewards for City fans to follow their team abroad and experience some of Etihad's most exciting holiday destinations
- Club-themed trade programmes to develop business connections and reward their most active agents
- Community project support to tackle social issues in Manchester and across the world
Etihad and City Football Group continue to work together to connect our global fan bases through the World’s leading airline and its impressive Etihad Partner Network and unrivalled guest experience.
In July 2019, PUMA became the official partner of Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC, Girona FC, Club Atlético Torque and Sichuan Jiuniu FC, supplying all representative teams including men’s, women’s and youth football.
“PUMA’s partnership with City Football Group is the largest deal that we have ever done - both in scope and ambition,” said Bjørn Gulden, CEO of PUMA. “We are very excited to partner with City Football Group, whose success, ambition and drive for innovation has seen them setting new standards, on and off the field. We look forward to building the most innovative partnership in football by redefining the sports partnership model both on and off the pitch. We want to maximise on-field performance as well as football culture, in areas such as music, gaming and fashion to connect and inspire the fanbase of each team.”
“This announcement marks the start of an exciting new chapter for City Football Group,” said Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group. “Our relationship with PUMA, covering five City Football Group clubs across four continents, will reset the model for sports partnerships on a truly global scale whilst being locally relevant and authentic for fans around the world. PUMA share our vision for challenging expectations, and we are looking forward to what we believe will be a ground-breaking partnership.”
A true technology showcase
In July 2015, SAP entered into a global, multi-year marketing and technology integrated partnership with City Football Group, designed to transform the way the Group and its football teams operate and perform, from the Boardroom to the pitch.
City Football Group is one of the most innovative and technology-driven football organisations in the world.
The partnership has seen the implementation of a range of cloud-based solutions, helping to simplify the Group’s worldwide operations, enhance the fan experience in stadium, supporting the group’s community efforts around the world, and finding real and true ways to impact performance at the highest level of the world’s biggest sport.
As part of the partnership, SAP Finance, HR, Communications and data analysis tools enable CFG to share real time information to the worldwide offices and clubs, helping the business run better. All CFG employees around the world utilise SAP Success Factors for their HR needs, tracking development, objectives, personal information and more.
The award-winning SAP Insights Wall, powered by SAP HANA, delivered an interactive touch screen experience for hundreds of thousands of fans at the Etihad Stadium. SAP have also teamed up with Manchester City and Melbourne City to provide real-time analytics and insights over the in-stadium LED ribbon. Coupled with multi award-winning social media and website campaigns, SAP technology has really brought the fans closer to the action than ever before.
Co-innovating on the SAP Challenger Insights tool, Manchester City’s men's first team, led by Pep Guardiola, use SAP real time technology on a tablet during Premier League matches, for tactical strategy, opposition analysis and player briefing.
In addition to the Group’s football teams, SAP has also partnered with the City Football Foundation - Manchester City’s global charity - which sees SAP technology aid in enhancing business and strategy operations through an innovative dashboard.
SAP continue to explore new ways to co-innovate with CFG in talent management, football performance and human performance, continuing to use the CFG platform to tell compelling stories of business transformation.
Nissan and CFG broke new ground in July 2014 by entering into City Football Group’s first Group-wide partnership. The first of a growing number of blue-chip brands to recognise the value of the Group model, Nissan became the Group’s official automotive partner, a deal that was extended in 2018. The Yokohama, Japan - headquartered automaker identified CFG as being uniquely placed to help it to achieve both its brand and commercial objectives in key strategic markets through its unrivalled global platform.
In addition to promoting the Nissan brand and demonstrating to fans around the world the excitement of Nissan, the relationship between CFG and Nissan also encompasses Yokohama F Marinos, Nissan’s hometown club. CFG work closely with the Marinos to enhance the general performance of the club, notably collaborating to help deliver consistent high performance on-the-pitch coupled with a successful commercial operation off-the-pitch. This includes knowledge sharing, exclusive access to CFG resources, and guidance in decision making protocols and governance. This was celebrated during summer 2019 where the two teams played each other in Japan at Nissan Stadium, home of the Marinos, in front of a sold-out crowd.
Working with CFG is really exciting. It’s a hugely professional organisation, from our perspective we are very much partners and hugely collaborative in what we do. City understand us as a brand, we know there is a huge opportunity with the group but also the individual clubs. What we appreciate is the flexibility and the pro-activity to really create some exciting ideas that will engage with both of our audiences all around the world
Owen Hughes, Head of Sponsorship, Nissan
Nissan has activated across several CFG clubs and teams and have extended their association to Manchester City’s Men’s first team Manager Pep Guardiola, leveraging high profile visible assets to drive brand affinity and sales, whilst its broader suite of rights create experiences and content and sharing the excitement of world class football and the world leading innovations of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, with fans everywhere, resulting in a 38% rise in purchase intent.
Nissan has also provided vehicles to CFG, with over 50 cars and vans of all shapes and sizes being used on a daily basis across the group, with a focus on electric vehicles that aids Nissan and City Football Group’s sustainability drive.
Recognised as one of the most active players in the modern game, Nissan views its CFG partnership as a central pillar to their broader partnership strategy and portfolio, perfectly complementing its other properties such as the UEFA Champions League and previously the African Cup of Nations. Nissan continue to view City Football Group as a leader innovating the game of football and they see a lot of similarities with innovating a vehicle like Nissan through Intelligent Mobility, using CFG as a key platform to drive brand affinity with its global fan base and convert their resulting brand preference into sales of its extensive range of models in key strategic markets.
City Football Group (CFG) has a new global multi-year partnership with Cisco, the worldwide technology leader, focused on using technology to drive innovation; enhance connectivity for clubs, players and fans; and positively impact people and communities around the world through sport.
Cisco are the Official Technology Partner for five CFG clubs; Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos and Sichuan Jiuniu FC, including the women’s teams of Manchester City and Melbourne City FC.
This is Cisco’s first major partnership with a football organisation in the company’s history.
Throughout the partnership, CFG will utilise Cisco’s networking and other key technologies to enhance the operations of each club and strengthen connectivity across the Group as a whole.
The beginning of the partnership formalises the relationship between the two organisations which began in 2013, when Manchester City installed Cisco technology across the Etihad Stadium and wider campus – a system that has supported every aspect of the Club’s operation ever since.
As part of its ambition to positively impact the lives of one billion people by 2025, Cisco will support Cityzens Giving, the Group’s global initiative to empower young leaders in cities around the world to tackle social issues through the power of football.
In addition to supporting the creation of a new community football project, Cisco’s commitment to bridging hope and possibility through technology will drive innovation and connectivity across the global Cityzens Giving project network.
Damian Willoughby, Senior Vice President of Partnership at City Football Group, said: “We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Cisco which will span four continents across the City Football Group network. CFG is an organization built on people and we are excited to embrace Cisco’s technologies to better connect our clubs, players and fans across the world.
“This partnership will be driven by its shared values of innovation, pushing the boundaries of our industries and providing a positive impact to the communities in which we operate, and we are delighted to welcome such a prestigious brand into the CFG family.”
Brian Eaton, Director of Global Sports Marketing at Cisco, added: “In City Football Group we found a global organization that is relentless in its pursuit of excellence and taps into people’s passions in a way that few other things can. While they already use Cisco technology to bring connectivity to fans, they see an opportunity to partner and use technology to positively shape the business of football.
“Cisco believes technology is a bridge to possible, a future that benefits people in a dynamic and positive way. That shared belief is the foundation of our partnership and from which we are excited to embark on a meaningful relationship.”
Find out more at newsroom.cisco.com
Driving awareness and engagement in key markets through a multi-club approach
Leading cloud-based development platform Wix’s powerful technology makes it easy for everyone to create stunning, professional and functional websites.
Having enjoyed success with eye-catching campaigns featuring partnerships with athlete ambassadors and film franchises airing during the Super Bowl and other global entertainment events, Wix chose a long-term multi-club partnership with City Football Group to harness the power of the global game.
Focused on unlocking new audiences as well as increasing engagement with existing users, Wix recognised that a multi-club partnership with Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City FC could help it achieve its objectives in key strategic markets and worldwide.
Working with a globally recognised football brand like CFG is part of our overall strategy to use the power of sport to reach worldwide audiences with our brand. The partnership with CFG is a natural one as our two brands share values and vision, and we’re confident it will boost the Wix brand amongst the massive fan bases of all clubs.
Wix.com Chief Marketing Officer
From the outset, the partnership has been grounded in a shared ambition to be the most innovative and creative in their fields. By creating compelling multi-channel content, CFG is helping Wix increase brand awareness, drive engagement and sign-ups across its club fan bases.
Notable campaign and content co-creation has included:
- Eye-catching TV campaigns featuring Manchester City players building Wix websites
- This City is Ours online campaign celebrating City fans, promoted on a global stage using Wix’s technology
- Developing and launching Sergio Aguero’s stunning new website.
Wix and CFG continue to work together to capture the attention of individual fans and businesses who can benefit from the creation of their own stunning website for free.
Nexen Tire, established in 1942, is a leading global tire manufacturer headquartered in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, and in Seoul, South Korea.
Nexen Tire is one of the world’s fastest growing tire manufacturers, working with 491 dealers based in 141 countries around the world.
Their world-class products originate from four major manufacturing plants located in key geographies, with two in Korea (Yangsan and Changnyeong), one in China (Qingdao) and another in the Czech Republic (Zatec).
Nexen Tire produces tires for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks with the highest quality materials and excellence in design. The company also focuses on producing Ultra High-Performance tires based on advanced technologies.
Nexen Tire supplies Original Equipment tires to global car makers in various countries around the world, and in 2014, the company achieved a grand slam of the world’s top 4 design awards for the first time.
A PROUD PARTNER OF MANCHESTER CITY
On August 6, 2015, Nexen Tire signed a partnership agreement with Manchester City to become the Club’s Official Tire Partner.
The partnership underpins Nexen Tire’s rapid global expansion and has allowed Nexen to establish a foothold in strategic markets around the world.
Football fans all around the world can now see Nexen Tire branding on pitch-side LED, interview and press conference backdrops and other high-visibility assets attained through the partnership. Nexen Tire has also utilised player access and IP rights to deliver best-in-class marketing and digital campaigns including TVCs and social media content.
“We are very pleased to serve as the Official Tire of Manchester City, one of the best soccer clubs in Europe. Manchester City is the perfect partner for Nexen Tire, considering its position in the league as one of the top-class football clubs with their decisive investment in and recruitment of top stars,” said Ho-Chan Kang, President of Nexen Tire.
He also added, “This will provide us a great opportunity to let customers around the world know about Nexen Tire through the partnership with Manchester City, which has numerous fans across all continents. We will strengthen our brand power through continuous sports marketing.”
In March 2017, following a highly successful first two years of the partnership, Nexen Tire made the decision to substantially increase their commitment to the Club, becoming the first ever sleeve partner in both Premier League and Manchester City history.
Further to this, Nexen also placed investment into other Clubs owned by City Football Group including Manchester City Women’s, Manchester City Elite Development Squad, New York City Football Club, Melbourne City Football Club and Melbourne City Women’s Football Club.
The partnership has continued to outperform expectations, with Nexen Tire now on their third partnership renewal, with extensive activation plans for the remainder of this season, and the seasons to come.
Some of the notable campaigns and activations from Nexen Tire over the years include:
- Nexen Skills Challenges featuring Man City players
- Nexen Purple Summit Manchester with more than 70 key stakeholders, retailers and distributors flown in from around the world to experience the partnership first-hand
- Numerous television commercials and content pieces with Nexen Tire products showcased and included
- Unique branding including the Manchester City First Team bus and Nexen Tire bridge - which connects the Etihad Stadium and City Football Academy
Nexen Tire looks forward to continuing their partnership with Manchester City and celebrating further growth and success.
For more information about Nexen Tire, please visit: http://www.nexentire.com
Hays – Building Winning Teams
Hays became the Official Recruitment Partner of Manchester City in 2013, renewing the agreement for the first time in 2016. During the past six years, Hays has extended the relationship with City Football Group to become the Official Recruitment Partner of New York City FC in 2015, as well as Manchester City Women in 2017 and most recently with Japanese side, Yokohama F. Marinos, strengthening Hays association with the group, and using the power of CFG’s global platform around the world. To cement the long lasting relationship, in 2019 Hays again renewed with both Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams for a further 4 years, bringing the association between Hays and CFG to 10 years.
Throughout its time as Official Recruitment Partner, Hays have explored the parallels between the world of work and elite sport. This collaboration has formed a rich territory for the partnership, with a strong focus on leadership, development, scouting and understanding the ingredients of building a high-performance team.
Hays have achieved significant brand engagement globally, with exposure driven through a presence throughout matchdays both online and offline. This includes associations with key moments such as the Hays branded team line-up announcements both in stadium and across the Club’s digital channels. Hays have also used the partnership to create exclusive events for key clients around the world and have capitalised on the global interest the partnership has delivered global impact with strong publicity, including a significant number of editorial articles and a 20 minute CNBC programme.
In January 2020, Hays launched a series of videos as part of its “Behind Every Goal” campaign with Manchester City players, Raheem Sterling, Rodri, İlkay Gündoğan, Matilde Fidalgo, Pauline Bremer and Steph Houghton. The interviews discovered what drives the players and explored the parallels between elite football and the world of work including leadership, teamwork and skills development.
We have been so pleased by the results of our partnership with Manchester City that during the past six years we have sought to extend our relationship with City Football Group to include many of its other teams such as Manchester City Women’s team, New York City FC and most recently Yokohama F. Marinos.
Sholto Douglas-Home, Hays Chief Marketing Officer
Since 2013 the partnership has helped grow awareness and deepen the understanding of the Hays brand, reinforcing Hays’ reputation as industry leaders. The partnership has delivered growth in engagement and perception amongst Hays core demographics and the association is being leveraged around the world demonstrating the global appeal and genuine impact created by the relationship.
A global partnership with a gaming giant
Building on a long-term successful partnership with Manchester City, that saw the City kit worn 246 million times and Sergio Aguero’s avatar scoring 217 million goals in EA SPORTS FIFA 19, our partnership has now extended to Manchester City Women, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Melbourne City Women.
Each club will develop its own strategy for fan engagement and will continue to have esports players representing the club at big tournaments all over the world. City Football Group’s collection of players include Manchester City’s Shaun 'Shellzz' Springette, Melbourne City’s Marcus Gomes and NYCFC player, Chris Holly, who made esports history by becoming the first ever eChampions League winner in May 2019.
Manchester City’s collaboration will include a monthly lifestyle gaming show, created by CityTV, on the latest trends in football and gaming, focussing on the EA SPORTS FIFA Team of the Week, EA SPORTS Player of the Month and other landmark moments in the football schedule.
We always aim to blur the lines between the virtual and real worlds of football. Through working with City Football Group on esports, content and fan engagement initiatives, we are delighted to do this by bringing fans closer to the clubs that they love. It’s fantastic to become the group’s Official Football Action Simulation Gaming Partner and we’re looking forward to a successful partnership.
UK&I Country Manager, Electronic Arts, Samantha Ebelthite