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Champ Osaka bags Nissan deal

Wrenn Sanchez

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Having grit and perseverance and then showing grace under extreme situations is a sure-fire formula to get one attention for a multi-million endorsement deal.

This is how Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese to battle and beat Serena Williams at her court in the US Open, got a sweet deal to become the brand ambassador of Nissan Motors worldwide.

The 20-year-old pro-born in Osaka, Japan to a Haitian-American father and Japanese mother, is the first Japanese player to win a women’s singles Grand Slam. Though she moved to the US when she was three years old, she continues to compete for Japan.

“This has been a dream come to life and I’m so honored to represent Japan and Nissan on the world stage,” Osaka said. “I was drawn to partner with Nissan because the brand is always challenging expectations and I look forward to bringing its vision for driving excitement to new audiences around the world.”

Asano Hoshino, senior vice president of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., gave the ceremonial nod to Osaka when the Grand Slam champion signed her contract with Nissan. “With a combination of grit and grace, Naomi Osaka is not afraid to take on the best tennis players of our time and win,” Hoshino said. “This is the same spirit of performance that Nissan has embodied throughout our history — exemplified most recently by the Nissan LEAF. And just like Naomi, Nissan is just getting started.”

As part of the partnership, Osaka will appear in global promotions and advertising for Nissan and the company will support her activities as a tennis player, including providing Nissan vehicles at her tour destinations.

The announcement was made at Nissan’s Global Headquarters in Yokohama, marking one of Osaka’s first appearances in Japan since winning the title on 8 September.

Osaka turned pro in 2013 and qualified for the Women’s Tennis Association tour championship at age 16, debuting at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California.

In 2016, Osaka qualified to enter her first Grand Slam tournament — the Australian Open, and made it into the third round. The same season, she also reached the third round of the French Open and the US Open.

Meanwhile, Nissan Philippines Inc. has just logged its best month since it began a campaign to become one of the best-selling car brands in the country.

It sold 4,500 units sold in the month of August, making NPI the third best-selling automotive brand in the country.

This marks the highest monthly sales for the brand in the Philippines since 2000 or a 104 percent increase versus the same period last year, beating the previous 2,869 performance last July.

Leading the record sales performance was the Nissan Navara which accounted for 38 percent of overall sales in the country. The all-new Terra also helped rake in additional sales, delivering 21 percent of the brand’s total accumulated sales for the month of August.

Besides posting record sales figures for the month of August, Nissan also ranked number two in the 2018 J.D. Power Customer Service Index, highlighting the brand’s strength in aftersales services.

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