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.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways CEO
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.
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 powered by the SAP HANA platform, helping to simplify the Group’s worldwide operations, increase productivity and enhance the fan experience.
As part of the partnership, SAP has brought a new level of digital insight to our fans attending matches, through the creation of interactive installations across the Etihad Campus, both within the Etihad Stadium and City Football Academy. SAP also teamed up with Manchester City, a Premier League first, and Melbourne City to provide real-time analytics and insights over the in-stadium LED ribbon.
It is not simply in-stadium that SAP’s analytical expertise is helping improve the fan experience across the clubs. SAP HAHA is also producing statistical insights in the form or creative widgets on Club websites and digital channels, providing the teams’ worldwide followers with access to real-time match day and player profile insights on their favourite players.
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, running live on SAP.
Nissan drive brand affinity and consideration with first CFG partnership
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. The Yokohama - 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.
There were two big drivers when we considered a relationship with City Football Group. Firstly, it was how global the appeal is for Manchester City and secondly, the increasing footprint of City Football Group in many important markets.
GeneralManager Global Brand Strategy at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
The relationship between CFG and Yokohama F. Marinos also extends to a CFG commitment to share knowledge, information and expertise to help further progress the Club both on and off the pitch.
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 has activated across all CFG clubs and teams, leveraging high profile visible assets to drive brand affinity and sales, whilst its broader suite of rights to create experiences and content for fans that perfectly align with its brand positioning to drive ‘Unexpected Access’ and ‘Innovation that Excites’. An approach that has resulted in 20% rises in both brand awareness and consideration from the partnership.
‘Engineers of Excitement’, Nissan has placed its products at the forefront of the minds of fans across the world through compelling content and promotions. Team coaches, players and even famous fans have been spotted in a range of Nissan vehicles. Manchester City Men’s and Women’s players even got test their skills as professional motorsport drivers for a day in the Nissan Dream Job Swap. In August 2016, Nissan and Manchester City Women collaborated to live stream the home legs of the team's UEFA Women's Champions League games.
Nissan continue to view City Football Group 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.
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.