Nissan Appoints Naomi Osaka as Brand Ambassador

The controversy surrounding the US Open Final, in which Serena Williams lost, has yet to dissipate, but the unexpected champion, Naomi Osaka is already enjoying the perks of winning a Grand Slam title.

Osaka, who is from Japan, shot to sudden fame just a week ago after defeating Williams. Sponsorship offers are pouring in and Japanese automaker, Nissan, was quick to ink a deal with the tennis star, who is just 20 years old.

A fresh, young brand ambassador is just what Nissan needs to cater to the younger demographic. Whilst Nissan’s GT-Rs is popular amongst older men, the automaker also has models, such as the all-electric Leaf, and a host of autonomous and connected driving features that would appeal to younger drivers.

As part of the three-year contract, Osaka will appear in the carmaker’s adverts and promotions worldwide. And while she doesn’t actually own a car just yet, she will be riding in a Nissan at all of her upcoming tennis-related destinations.

Osaka not only brought pride to her country as the first Japanese to win a singles Grand Slam championship, she could prove to be a positive influence on the attitude of Japanese society towards “hafu”, ie. Japanese people of mixed parentage.

Hafus often face discrimination in Japan. Remember Miss Japan 2015, who made it to the top 10 of Miss Universe? The half-Japanese, half-African American beauty faced criticism from other Japanese, who felt she did not represent them.

Osaka, who was born to a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father, and is now an international darling, could help remove these prejudices.

At a press conference at Nissan HD in Yokohama, Osaka said, “…I’m so honoured to represent Japan and Nissan on the world stage. I was drawn to partner with Nissan because of its strong Japanese DNA and global competitive spirit.”

Kudos to Nissan for embracing diversity.

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