Chinese giant mobile brand Huawei, has signed up Barcelona soccer star, Lionel Messi as global brand ambassador for it’s consumer business group. The affiliation will help Huawei connect with consumers in Europe and Latin America and shows the commitment of the brand to aligning with people that demonstrate and strive towards its shared value of connecting greatness.
Huawei hopes the Messi sponsorship will give it greater traction in Europe. The mobile brand’s Business Consumer Group President For Handsets, Kevin Ho, boasts that Lionel Messi will help encourage people to focus, persevere, and to connect with greatness, especially in Europe, Asia, and Latin America where Huawei puts great devotion.
Huawei’s sponsorship of the Argentinian footballer, who is widely considered the world’s best footballer, comes as the stature of football continues to grow in China.
The sponsorship is not Huawei’s first foray into football. It already has sponsorships with clubs including América, Santa Fe, Sporting Cristal, Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid and AC Milan, and players including Robert Lewandowski and Alexis Sánchez.
Chinese Super League teams are spending big money on signing footballers such as Jiangsu Suning, paying £38 million for Alex Teixeira and the Chinese President is reportedly a huge football fan.
Lionel Messi had previously been in a partnership with Samsung, while Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Oppo teamed up with his club side Barcelona CF in May 2015.
The Barcelona star is one of the most bankable sporting stars and his other sponsorship deals include a $140m (£97m) sponsorship deal with Adidas.
A January 2016 IDC report ranks Huawei third, as one of the world’s top 3 smartphone manufacturers with an 8.1 per cent market share, behind Samsung (21.4 per cent) and Apple (18.7 per cent) but ahead of fellow Chinese marques, Lenovo (5.1 per cent) and Xiaomi (4.6 per cent).
Huawei also recently introduced its flagship Smartphone The Huawei Mate 8 and its mid-range phone The G-Power into the Nigerian market to suit the various lifestyles of its consumers.