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Lifting the lid on innovation

Lifting the lid on innovation
  • How do you fit 22 soccer players into a Nissan Qashqai?-

SANDTON, South Africa. When is a Qashqai not a car? When it’s a foosball table. And that’s the secret to fitting 22 soccer players into a Qashqai!

Nissan, one of the world’s most innovative auto manufacturers, has cut a Qashqai in half to reveal a ready-to-play foosball table, complete with two 11 a side teams.

As sponsors of the UEFA Champions League through four seasons (2014 to 2018), today’s unveiling of the repurposed crossover vehicle brought to life the ‘Innovation that Excites’ hallmark of the Nissan brand.

It was also a display of the car company’s ‘Engineers of Excitement’ campaign – a celebration of genius in both Nissan’s innovation and talented play on the soccer field. The campaign is linked to the sponsorship’s global commitment to give 'unexpected access to football’ on a variety of innovative and exciting platforms.

“Nissan is using innovation to bring fans closer to the sport of soccer,” said Gavin Rheeder, Nissan South Africa’s senior marketing manager whose team was at the forefront of the unique, home-grown Qashqai-to-foosball table concept. 

“Our aim is to appeal to the legions of soccer fans in South Africa, not only through vehicle sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League but also by enriching supporters’ experience of this premier soccer event through ‘unexpected access to football’ opportunities,” Rheeder explained.

The converted Qashqai is a taste of the excitement that’s in store for South African soccer lovers as they follow the world-famous UEFA Champions League tournament, currently in the 2015/2016 qualifying group stages.

Attendees of today’s reveal took part in a mini foosball knockout to kickstart a national Nissan Knockout Roadshow. Prizes are up for grabs for winning teams. To be part of the action, foosball fundis should check out Nissan SA’s Facebook and Twitter alerts. The social media pages are Facebook: Nissan, Twitter: @nissanza and hashtag #nissanknockout.  Follow the social media pages for more information about the Roadshow.

The Knockout Competition is an extension of other UEFA Champions League sponsorship activities taking place across the country. Fans can participate in a free kick activity competition, where winners scoring in the key goal point can win awesome prizes. The current ‘test drive and win’ competition at nationwide Nissan dealerships is a chance to bag two all-inclusive tickets to the League final in Milan next year. All you have to do is pop into your nearest Nissan dealership and test drive a Nissan crossover. Take your pick from the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail ranges. 

The Qashqai is one of the most popular crossovers with global sales exceeding expectations. Its uniquely South African conversion to a foosball table took nine weeks to complete. Even with the top half removed, the transformed Qashqai is still drivable – albeit at a reduced speed of 30 kilometres per hour.

“So you might lose a game but not your Qashqai,” joked Rheeder, before taking his place in the launch’s mini foosball contest.

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