Austin, TX – As an over-the-top sports fan I have always had the uncanny ability to remember facts and figures that most people do not care about.
Example: the great St. Louis Cardinal hitter and Hall of Famer Stan Musial had 3,630 hits in his career – evenly split at 1,815 at home and away games. You impressed?
I particularly had a love for the Heisman Trophy, the annual award presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York to the nation’s top college football player. I still can run down the winner list starting with Jay Berwanger in 1935. To me, the Heisman Trophy is synonymous with that sport and stands as a brand itself.
(side note: I’m particularly fond of 1978 and 1988 – Hook ‘em Horns!)
For the past 14 years Nissan has partnered with the Heisman Trophy Award and the Heisman Trust to attach its name to the prestigious prize. The Nashville-based auto manufacturer has a done a smart job in positioning itself as the exclusive partner through creative TV ads and on-site activations.
If you watch college football it is hard to escape Nissan’s comical series of TV commercials revolving around a fictional “Heisman House.” The campaign is in its ninth year and features former award winners interacting with each other and, yes, occasionally driving Nissan cars.
This year’s series of TV spots were directed by Anthony and Joe Russo who directed Avengers: Endgame, the highest-grossing film of all time.
Nissan recently kicked off another year of on-site activation at college campuses during football season. I visited the makeshift Heisman House here on The University of Texas campus before the Longhorns squared off against LSU.
The traveling venue is essentially a very large circus-like tent with an impressive, electronic façade. Each gameday Saturday stop features former trophy winners and/or notable players associated with the host university. 1998 winner and Texas Longhorns running back Ricky Williams took photos and signed autographs on this sunny, hot day.
Lines of fans snaked through the tent where they could also snap photos with the Heisman Trophy, win prizes, and customize a Nissan Rogue in their favorite team colors.
It was a fun experience for me and my so who attends UT. We only hope QB Sam Ehlinger’s will be called during the Heisman Trophy Award announcement this December. If he is a finalist, I’d drive a Nissan up there to watch it in person and check that off my bucket list.
To see where the traveling Nissan Heisman House turns up next, click here – www.nissanheismanhouse.com