Road To Rio: Nissan Drives Us Into The Olympic Games traveled with Nissan for five days to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Opening Ceremony and several kickoff events at the 2016 Olympic Games.

We stayed at the rebranded Arena Hotel in Copacabana—the auto company redecorated the property on Copacabana Beach and renamed it the Nissan Kicks Hotel and it will remain that way throughout the end of August.

Jawn Murray enjoys the art of Rio de Janiero

Jawn Murray enjoys the art of Rio de Janiero

The automotive manufacturer is an official partner of the Olympics and the Torch Relay. Nissan’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn is from Brazil so having his company sponsor the first Olympics to take place in South America was important to him.

Since 2012, Nissan also has been supporting dozens of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Nissan’s own Director of Excitement and Olympic legend, Usain Bolt.

The company has over 4,200 vehicles on the ground in Rio to transport athletes and dignitaries around until the games end on August 21. Nissan also launched a new small-sized sedan called the Nissan Kicks. The car is currently sold exclusively in Brazil and was made available to the public on Friday, August 5, which was the day of the Opening Ceremony.

Nissan had projections of moving 500 cars in pre-sale orders and selling 1,000 vehicles overall in the days after its release. However, on the morning of its street date the Nissan Kicks had pre-sale orders of 2,000 cars sold. Its to-date sales have yet to be released.

Jawn Murray prepares to ride Nissan Bladeglider

Jawn Murray prepares to ride Nissan Bladeglider

During our time in Rio, we test drove the Nissan Kicks— first time driving in a foreign country with a navigation unit that only spoke in Portuguese. I really liked the Nissan Kicks and think with a few tweaks, the car would be a hot seller here in the United States as well.

We also got to get a ride in the super-fast and oh-so-cool Nissan Bladeglider (it goes so fast you had to wear a helmet). I’ll just say this isn’t your everyday-to-the-office kind of vehicle.

Overall, Nissan’s participation in the 2016 Olympics in Rio continues to show the company’s commitment to reaching a broad and diverse audience. Nissan is currently one of the leading automotive brands with African-American consumers in particular and plan to make a concentrated effort to further connect with initiatives and events directly related to our community.

Opening Ceremony at Rio Olympics

Opening Ceremony at Rio Olympics

WATCH: Jawn Murray is one of the first people in the world to take an exclusive ride in Nissan’s new Bladeglider. The car is so fast you had to wear a helmet! 

PHOTOS: Check out some additional sights from our excursion to the Olympics with Nissan below.


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