Infiniti Becomes an Official Sponsor and Global Automotive Partner of Cirque
du Soleil

YOKOHAMA, Japan, March 23 /CNW/ - Infiniti today announced that it has partnered with the world-renowned Montreal-based entertainment group, Cirque du Soleil(R), to become an Official Sponsor and exclusive Automotive Partner. The sponsorship marks a first for both Infiniti and Cirque du Soleil.

"Our new sponsorship with Cirque du Soleil will show that Infiniti is much more than exciting machines that move you from one place to another. Infiniti has an emotional, inspirational appeal, offering a very personal style of modern luxury and respectful treatment for the world's most discerning luxury customers," says Toru Saito, corporate vice president and leader, Global Infiniti Business Unit.

Building on previous Infiniti/Cirque du Soleil sponsorships in Canada, Russia, Korea, and the Middle East, the new global partnership gives Infiniti brand exposure through 180 Big Top and Arena touring show markets in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, and Russia - as well as three theatre shows in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Combined, these shows will bring in over 5.4 million attendees offering Infiniti an unparalleled exposure to the affluent customer base of Cirque du Soleil.

"The partnership between Cirque du Soleil and Infiniti is a natural fit for these two perfectly aligned brands as both embody Inspired Performance," says Jon Brancheau, director global marketing, Global Infiniti Business Unit. "At Infiniti, our intention is to move people emotionally as well as physically. We believe that this partnership will personify our brand's desire to invoke graceful strength, vibrancy, craftsmanship and exhilaration in consumers."

"As a company committed to partnering with only like-minded brands, Cirque du Soleil is excited about the opportunity to expand our relationship with Infiniti," adds Ryan Sandilands, senior director of corporate alliances, Cirque du Soleil. "After several successful years working with Infiniti Canada, we look forward to connecting with Infiniti's passionate customers around the world, inspiring creativity and powerful emotions in everyone."

The first partnered shows begin in April 2010 in Portland (Oregon), New York, and Montréal.

Infiniti joins a host of top tier Official Sponsors, including American Express, CGI, Sun Life Financial, and W Hotels.

In Canada, Infiniti has been the official automotive partner of Cirque du Soleil since 2007, where it has proven to be a marketing success story, delivering an exclusive and exhilarating experience through the vibrant and artful expression of their craft.

The partnership provides Infiniti Canada with an integrated marketing plan which includes on-site presence, Infiniti retailer involvement, website, press and consumer events, as well as consumer lead management communications.

Since 2007, Infiniti Canada has been leveraging the sponsorship to execute many successful events and initiatives in Canada. To help support the launch of the new Infiniti EX, customer gala events were staged in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, to unveil the vehicle and treat guests to a Cirque du Soleil performance. In 2007, Infiniti was at CN Tower in Toronto to support the bid of Cirque du Soleil for a new Guinness World Record for the highest circus act performance.

In 2008, the first Canadian Infiniti television commercial, "Double Line", was created to increase brand awareness by demonstrating common values shared by Infiniti and Cirque du Soleil. Last year, to commemorate Infiniti's 20th Anniversary, Infiniti Canada commissioned Montreal artist Heidi Taillefer to create a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted G37 Coupe art vehicle inspired by Cirque du Soleil, which will later be auctioned for charity.

"We have always felt the Infiniti and Cirque du Soleil partnership was ideal for both brands," said Wendy Durward, Director, Infiniti Canada. "The two brands share similar values and ultimately both aim to deliver breathtaking performances in an artful and inspiring way. We are delighted to see a business relationship which was created here in Canada, to now be extended to Infiniti and Cirque du Soleil around the world."

Infiniti Canada will continue building a strong relationship with Cirque du Soleil and in less than a month, will begin to activate the partnership during the new Big Top Show in Montreal, Cirque 2010.

    
    About Infiniti
    --------------
    

Infiniti's Global lineup includes models such as the Infiniti G sedan, coupe and convertible, all-new Infiniti M luxury sedan, Infiniti EX crossover, Infiniti FX performance crossover, and all-new Infiniti QX full-size luxury crossover. Currently Infiniti has over 250 retail outlets worldwide. More information about Infiniti can be found at www.infiniti.com.

    
    About Cirque du Soleil
    ----------------------
    

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees from over 50 different countries, including more than 1,200 performing artists.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in 300 cities on five continents. In 2010, Cirque will present 20 shows simultaneously throughout the world.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

To find out more about the One Drop Foundation, visit www.onedrop.org.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Infiniti

For further information: For further information: Infiniti Contacts: Didier Marsaud, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Nissan Canada Inc., T: (905) 629-6400, M: (416) 573-7231, E: didier.marsaud@nissancanada.com; Alexandra Cygal, Cohn & Wolfe, T: (647) 259-3266, M: (416) 471-7475, E: alexandra.cygal@cohnwolfe.ca; Wayne Bruce, Infiniti Global Communications Director, T: +41 21 822 4930, M: +41 79 701 8230, E: wayne.bruce@infiniti.eu

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