Cape Town - Nissan has named legendary fast bowler Dale Steyn and rising star Kagiso Rabada as brand ambassadors to further add to the company’s global sponsorship deal with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Steyn has been the leader of the South African bowling attack for over a decade while the 20-year-old Rabada has emerged as a new star.
Nissan became a supporter of cricket in October 2015 when it announced an eight-year deal with the ICC as a global sponsor of cricket’s international tournaments.
The tournaments include the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC World Twenty20, as well as ICC Under-19, ICC Women's and Qualifying events.
The Japanese carmaker is bringing its innovative and fan-focused approach to sport to millions of cricket-lovers around the world. The ICC partnership is a significant expansion of Nissan's ongoing international sports sponsorships.
“I am delighted to welcome Kagiso and Dale to the Nissan team as our cricket ambassadors in South Africa. They will help connect our brand with South Africans through our shared love of cricket,” said Managing Director of Nissan South Africa, Mike Whitfield.
“We are excited to partner with two of the game’s premier bowlers, one representing consistent excellence spanning more than a decade and the other making a rapid rise in the global ranks.
"Nissan is proud to become Rabada's first commercial sponsor, recognising his potential as a young player who is already making massive strides."
Nissan aims to connect with South African cricket fans through these two globally recognisable ambassadors.
The cricketers Steyn and Rabada join a group of global superstars who are Nissan brand ambassadors, including Olympic sprint gold medalist and world record holder Usain Bolt, and multiple Olympic swimming champion Ryan Lochte.
Steyn has established himself as one of the world’s best strike bowlers. His achievements include 406 Test wickets from 82 matches and 175 in One-Day Internationals (ODI). The 2008 ICC player of the year's strike rate of a wicket every 41.7 balls in Tests is the best of any bowler that has taken more than 200 wickets. The 32-year-old became the fastest player to take 400 Test wickets in terms of balls bowled in the second match against Bangladesh in Mirpur in July 2015.
“I am thrilled to be among some of the top athletes in the world that are associated with Nissan as a brand ambassador,” Dale Steyn said.
“Nissan’s partnership with cricket will expose and inspire more young players to the game both internationally and on home soil.”
Since announcing himself at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2014 with a “six-fer” (six wicket haul) against Australia in the semi-final, Rabada has made an easy transition to senior cricket. He made a record-breaking start to his ODI career for South Africa against Bangladesh with the best bowling figures in a debut, taking six wickets for 16 runs.
“It is a privilege to be associated with a brand that is known for innovation that excites, especially this early in my career as a cricket player,” Kagiso Rabada said.
“I am looking forward to delivering the same performance as a Nissan ambassador as I do with the ball in hand.”
Rabada’s been equally impressive in Test cricket, coming into his own in the recent four-match series against England where he claimed his first five-wicket haul at the Wanderers before his milestone-grabbing display in the final Test in Centurion. He rounded off his performance with match figures of 13 for 144, the best figures by a South African bowler in Tests and becoming the youngest South African to take a 10-wicket haul.
Keep an eye out for these Nissan ambassadors as they compete against batsmen around the world. Join the conversation and all the action using #MomentsThatCount – a place for cricket fans to share standout moments of inspiration and generate excitement for cricket.
To see newly appointed Nissan Ambassadors Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada in the Nissan GTR, click below: