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 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.”
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
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.