Sony Ericsson aligns sport sponsorships with smartphones

Sony Ericsson will use its sponsorship of sport and tennis events to push its soon to launch PlayStation smartphone, the Xperia Play.

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The phone manufacturer currently sponsors the UEFA Champions League and the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Miami.

Head of global marketing partnerships Stephan Croix says the company’s sports sponsorships will help achieve the brand’s focus for 2011: to define the Xperia range as the “most entertaining smartphones in the market”.

He adds: “Our sport sponsorships allow us to promote our phones in a subtle and authentic way to our fanbase. Our promise to fans is to enrich their experience during the game but also before and after.”

Earlier this week the company launched Xperia Hot Shots, a web-based TV show that aims to build the profile of six up-and-coming female tennis players.

Xperia Hot Shots aims to develop engagement with Sony Ericsson’s 3.9 million fans on Facebook and YouTube users. It will also drive further partnerships with entertainment brands and celebrities.

Croix says there are also plans to produce a game for the Xperia Play that will involve the characters of the web TV show.

He adds: “It would be another innovative and creative way to involve our sports sponsorship with a creative smartphone proposition.”

Sony Ericsson is also driving technology partnerships and has joined with Foursquare for the Sony Ericsson Open to offer fans access to tournament news, information and competitions.

The phone will come pre-loaded with a multiplayer version of FIFA 10 and there are plans to link more of the company’s football and tennis sponsorships with its Xperia range of smartphones.

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