Ericsson and Vodafone have signed up World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho to promote a range of handsets as part of a joint marketing initiative.
The mobile companies announced the partnership last Friday in Monaco, where Ronaldinho played for Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup.
As part of the deal, several phones, including the K800i cyber shot, will come complete with an exclusive Ronaldinho picture diary, wallpapers and “mobisodes”, which are programmes made especially for mobile phones.
The initiative will be supported by an integrated advertising campaign featuring the strapline “Never miss a shot”.
Global marketing director of Sony Ericsson’s Vodafone unit, Stephan Croix, says: “Ronaldinho is the perfect sportsman to promote the unique experience Sony Ericsson’s products give consumers.”
Sony Ericsson is reviewing its &£50m global advertising account after parting company with Bartle Bogle Hegarty last month.
The pitch is being handled by Agency Assessments and the company has shortlisted DDB London, McCann Erickson, Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi (MW August 17).
It is widely acknowledged that the hiring of Wolff Olins to create a brand strategy for Sony Ericsson led to BBH resigning the account. BBH is said to have disagreed with Wolff Olins’ strategy.