The deal lasts until the end of the 2015/16 football season. It will see Arsenal players, such as Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, feature in Huawei’s communications and promotional activities both in the UK and overseas.
For Huawei, the partnership also includes offers, content and a brand presence during Arsenal matches, as well as via its digital and social media channels. Huawei will also gain access to Arsenal’s customer database and be able to offer matchday hospitality at the Emirates Stadium to competition winners.
Huawei hopes to use the tie-up to boost awareness of the brand in the UK. It had a 0.9 per cent share of the UK smartphone market in November, according to comScore, putting it 9th in the rankings behind brands including Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry. That is also well behind its global share, which Strategy Analytics estimates at 5 per cent in the third quarter.
Mark Mitchinson, executive vice president at Huawei Technologies UK, says: “Huawei is delighted to partner with Arsenal, one of the world’s leading football clubs. We are a young, dynamic brand, as well as a technical leader in our field and this makes us a great brand match for a club with the global stature of Arsenal. We look forward to working with all the team at Emirates Stadium over the coming years.”
The deal will also help boost Arsenal as its look to Asia for revenue generating opportunities. The club says it has a “very large digital fanbase” in China and has previously toured Asia, playing matches in Malaysia, Hong Kong and China.
Tom Fox, Arsenal’s chief commercial officer, says: “This is the first global deal we have signed with a Chinese brand, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the market through pre-season tours and sustained digital fan engagment.”