OPPO, the Chinese smartphone maker, sees Europe as essential to its global expansion ambitions and is leveraging sports sponsorship – including the current Cricket World Cup – as a central part of that aim.

“I would call Europe a brand highland for Oppo,” said Derek Sun, Oppo’s global marketing director. “If you want to be a truly global brand, we have to ensure that we are the favourite brand in Europe,” he told SportsPro.

“[To do that], we need to find new ways to connect with consumers here and we believe that working with popular sports activities in Europe is a good way for us to connect with those consumers.”

The brand already had a deal with Barcelona football club and ties to major cricket and tennis events will help it raise its profile further this summer.

As the official smartphone partner of the ICC Cricket World Cup and sponsor of Team India, OPPO is currently running a digital campaign, Be A Shot Maker, which encourages fans to share their own video highlights from the tournament.

“We really believe that, between cricket and OPPO, there is a commonality in terms of brand value and also our spirit. This [partnership] aims to help our consumers [in Europe] understand what OPPO stands for from a brand perspective,” Sun explained.

Recently OPPO entered a three-year partnership with the French Tennis Federation, and earlier this year, it tied up with the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which runs the Wimbledon tennis tournament – the first Asian brand to do so.

Its promotional activities there will also focus on the photographic capabilities of the device, while the AELTC anticipates the relationship will help build Wimbledon’s brand presence across China.

“Wimbledon and also the French Open are, of course, two of the most popular brands in Europe, and there we also have a brand value fit for premium and elegancy,” said Sun.

European consumers, he suggested, “are not only looking for a smartphone, but also the brand that they like and [the one that] fits to them.”

More generally, he sees opportunities to tap into digital growth in the sports sector to help the brand expand around the world. “Leveraging digital and social media tools will definitely help OPPO become a more global brand and grow its reputation,” he said.

Sourced from SportsPro; additional content by WARC staff