T-Mobile will use its association with this year’s football World Cup to reward its customers for their loyalty, according to head of sponsorship Toby Hester.
The mobile giant, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, will give subscribers easier access to tickets and create events for them during the tournament, being held in Germany, says Hester in an exclusive interview with Marketing Week.
T-Mobile is launching a Three Lions-branded phone next month as part of the sponsorship deal. The handset, a special edition Samsung E370, will come with a pre-loaded video of Geoff Hurst’s winning goal in the 1966 tournament.
The company is creating a “Fan Park” in Birmingham where people can watch the matches on what T-Mobile claims are Europe’s largest screens. The venue will include a beach football pitch, which will host an international tournament featuring celebrities. T-Mobile will also stream World Cup highlights to mobiles, with customers able to access the talking points of every game within an hour of the final whistle.
T-Mobile, which is sponsoring ITV1’s charity football show Soccer Aid as part of the World Cup push, says it is not concerned about ambush marketing from rivals.
“We don’t own football but we’re the official mobile partner,” says Hester. “No other mobile brand can offer tickets. They can put on events, but what’s their reason? We’re an official sponsor and FIFA is very strict about rivals hijacking sponsorships.”