The Oppo and Wimbledon partnership, that grants the Chinese BBK Electronics-owned brand the official smartphone status for the prestigious grass court tennis tournament, goes far beyond a sponsorship deal.
Wimbledon organisers All-England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) and the smartphone brand are eyeing expansion into new territories through their long-term association.
The AELTC on last Thursday had announced a five-year partnership with Oppo in what can be termed as the Chinese smartphone brand’s third major deal in sports after the Indian Premier League and the International Cricket Council. For Wimbledon, it’s their maiden association with an Asian brand.
While Oppo is banking on Wimbledon’s mass reach for expansion into the UK and European markets, the AELTC is targeting deeper penetration in the Asian market on the strength of the brand’s strong presence in the region.
Oppo has claimed the prestige of the Wimbledon brand will inspire confidence in its own brand and encourage consumers to investigate the value of its devices. “Consumers in Europe might not be familiar with Oppo, but we are a young brand and our devices are a commitment to innovation and art,” Oppo vice president Brian Shen has said at the formal announcement of the Wimbledon partnership.
“This year marks our eleventh anniversary and through this partnership with (The AELTC) we want to build the synergies between art, sport and technology in order to become a globally respected brand like Wimbledon.”
Oppo and AELTC have stressed that the deal was more than a financial transaction and they would collaborate on new initiatives that would expand the appeal of the tournament, particularly in Asia. “This partnership with the AELTC isn’t just a typical supplier relationship,” said Shen. “We are committed to working together and furthering (the partnership) through content creation and by combining our resources.”
AELTC Commercial Director Mick Desmond has admitted that the first ever commercial association with an Asian brand will further boost Wimbledon’s presence in the region. “Oppo is our first Asian partner so it’s a very special relationship we’re entering into,” he said. “For every sports and content rights holder, Asia is a very important marketplace. One of the reasons we embraced this partnership is to expand our brand in those territories and we feel Oppo can help us to do that.”