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June 1, 2012

Usain Bolt partners with Nissan on the global brand campaign


Triple Olympic gold medalist and multi world record holder Usain Bolt can run 100 metres in 9.58 seconds. He also discovered that when driving the Nissan GT-R he can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. So the Olympic gold medalist and world’s fastest man bought the GT-R. Now when he’s not running, he still has the capability to go fast. Really fast.

Nissan has launched its first-ever global brand campaign, including a series of airport billboards featuring Bolt and his Nissan GT-R. Titled “WHAT IF_”, the campaign features iconic Nissan products and technologies that represent Nissan’s innovations that excite.



An association between Usain Bolt and Nissan came quite naturally, since he has been an owner of a Nissan GT-R since 2009.

“I was looking on the Internet and I came across the Nissan GT-R, and they (automotive media) were saying it was the best streetcar ever made,” said Bolt.

“Nissan GT-R is a wonderful car and perfect for me. I love everything in it. I enjoy driving it, and I feel completely safe, and that is the key thing for me.”


Nissan believes the “WHAT IF_” campaign has the legs to go the distance and announced that it has signed Bolt as its global frontman. In this high profile multimedia campaign, Nissan is provoking consumer curiosity with intriguing headlines, visually arresting imagery and innovative installations. This first ad featuring Bolt and the Nissan GT-R will appear in major airports around the globe on June 1. The campaign, which will eventually reach all major international airports, was developed and is handled by Nissan's global agency, TBWA.

This campaign is the first activity of Nissan’s newly-formed global marketing organisation that was tasked last year to accelerate the company’s brand power in support of Nissan’s Power 88 mid-term business plan. Nissan’s Power 88 plan includes unprecedented investment in new markets, products and technologies to raise its presence across the globe. This campaign will boost the already-strong momentum achieved in key markets around the world.

The experience will be extended online with deeper storytelling and shareable contents. A dedicated global facebook fanpage uncovers a strong association between Nissan GT-R and Usain Bolt, and other stories. These contents will be communicated beyond the global facebook page using an innovative dynamic content distribution technology.


The campaign is set to run multiple years, delivering Nissan’s unlimited and surprising innovation stories. Messaging will be constantly refreshed to surprise and continue to deepen the understanding of Nissan’s human-centric approach to innovation. Another Nissan innovation, the Nissan LEAF’s remote-charging capability using a smartphone application, will also be featured in the brand campaign advertisement that starts today.

Usain Bolt
- Nationality: Jamaica
- Birth date: August 21, 1986 (25 years old)
- Height: 195cm
- Personal Record: 100m in 9.58 sec in 2009 (World Record), 200m in 19.19 sec in 2009 (World Record), 4x100m relay in 37.04 sec in 2011 (World Record)
- London Olympic Games: Expected to participate in 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay
- Nissan GT-R owner: From 2009

Nissan GT-R
- Nationality: Born in Japan, seen on roads globally
- Birth date: December 6, 2007 (released in Japan)
- 0 – 60 mph: 2.7 seconds
- 0 – 100 km/h: 2.8 seconds
- Number sold: over 21,000

The Usain Bolt advertisement will be rolled out globally, starting with the following 13 airports from June 1:
Tokyo (Narita), Osaka (Kansai), Hong Kong, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, NY (JFK), Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Rome, and Johannesburg.





| Nissan