Huawei eyes football sponsorship deal to lift UK brand presence

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UK CEO reveals football kit sponsorship deal could play part in brand awareness push

Huawei says it is exploring sponsorship opportunities in the UK to boost brand awareness – and football may be an option.

The claim was made last week by Huawei UK CEO Victor Zhang (pictured).

The announcement follows Huawei’s sponsorship of Spanish La Liga football team Atlético Madrid in the European Super Cup final against Samsung-sponsored Chelsea on August 31.

Zhang said: “There is potential for this and we are exploring these opportunities.

Huawei’s Device UK and Ireland executive vice president Mark Mitchinson is familiar with football sponsorship having been instrumental in Samsung’s sponsorship of Chelsea when he was running the company’s mobile activities here.

Said Zhang:“The UK device market has very strong competition. We have started selling our own branded smartphones in the UK this year and are now growing our business. One day you may see Huawei’s brand on a team.”

Zhang also confirmed Huawei is to move its UK head office from Basingstoke to Reading next year.

It comes on the back of the company’s announcement it will inject $2 billion (£1.2 billion) into the UK economy, increasing staff from 800 now, to 1,500 by 2017. There are currently around 400 employees based at the Basingstoke office.

Huawei will invest £600 million into its British business and a further similar amount to benefit the economy that will be generated from capital expenditure.

Huawei will also establish several global centres of technical and financial excellence in the UK. Huawei’s design centre in London is due to open in the coming weeks as part of the investment plans.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei has met with David Cameron and Minister of State for Business Lord Green to outline the company’s commitment to the UK through research and development, local procurement and centre of excellence initiatives.

Huawei is building EE’s 4G network and other network upgrades.

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