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Smartphone brands and football clubs partnership – a good market strategy or not?

Oppo R11 Barcelona Limited Edition
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Smartphones are one of the things we will forever thank technology for bringing to us. And football, one helluva great sport. As a matter of fact, it is arguably the most viewed sport and the one that catches the people’s attention the most with hundreds of millions of followers and fans all across the globe.

Apparently, it has dawned on smartphone brands how populated and broad the football world is in terms of population and diversity and the need to capitalize on the sport as means to increase sales and global penetration.

As a particular quote teaches that “You attract someone more when you love the things they love”, some smartphone brands have decided to capitalize on the love football fans have for their individuals clubs and use it as a means to get closer, increase sales and in the long run, global penetration.

And how have they managed to get these done? Through football clubs sponsorship and production of club-specific editions of their devices.

Let’s see smart phones manufacturers yht have used (is using) football as a market strategy.

1. Tecno Mobile

Tecno Mobile is an OEM based in China but with much of its market sales and dominance in the African market. Truth be told, Tecno is doing good in the African market, releasing new and new smartphones at least once in every three months. Recently, just last month, the company launched the Spark series with the Tecno Spark K7 and Tecno K9 Spark Plus as members.

The company is one of the smart phone brands that have used football as a sales and marketing strategy. Tecno partnered with England’s top Football club, Manchester City as sponsors and subsequently released a limited edition of one of her best device specifically designed for the club – the Camon CX Manchester City Limited Edition.

The body of the Tecno Camon CX Manchester City Limited Edition was designed and sprayed in the same colour as the official home Jersey of the football club – sky blue, and the club’s logo was neatly emblematized at the bottom of the device on the rear.



Oppo is another smartphone brand that have capitalized on football clubs’ fan base and the love for the game to boost global penetration, sales and recognition.

Oppo R1 Plus Barcelona Limited Edition

Sometime in 2015, the company partnered with Football Club Barcelona and subsequently released the Oppo R7 Plus Barcelona Limited Edition which Mohammad Naoufel Madih, Oppo’s Marketing manager said “sold like hot cakes”.

Oppo F1 Plus Barcelona Limited Edition

In 2016, the Chinese company didn’t stop, it released the Oppo F1 Plus Barcelona Limited Edition, and like the R1 Plus, it rode on a “hot cake” success. The Oppo F1 Plus Barcelona Limited Edition was even quite special as it came with real gold (18 K carat gold) and a 16 MP front camera was specially embedded on the device as it was also selfie themed.

Oppo R11 Barcelona Limited Edition

This year, 2017, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer announced the Oppo R11 FC Barcelona Limited Edition. This device also came plated with Gold, designed and painted with the clubs official colours – Burgundy and Blue. The uniqueness of the R11 FC Barcelona Limited Edition lies in the rear camera. The Oppo R11 Barcelona Limited Edition, unlike other club phones from the company, had a dual rear camera set-up, a nice selfie camera amongst other amazing specs.

Oppo F3 Barcelona Limited Edition

Remember that we announced that the Oppo F3 Barcelona Edition will be up for sale come September 1, 2017 in Kenya and the company promised special Barcelona gift pack for the early birds that purchase the Oppo F3 Barcelona Edition. The Oppo F3 is another means by which OPPO is capitalizing on Football and using it to its advantage in terms of sales, penetration and global recognition.

Now to the big question: Is this a good market strategy or not?

Well, in my opinion, and given the words of Oppo’s Marketing Manager describing the success of one of the Barcelona themed devices as a “hot cake” kind of success, I would say it is a good strategy. Not just good, it seem to be an efficient strategy, one I see other smartphone brands emulating soon.

What do you think?

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