Lyca pushes the boat out to hit 20m customer goal

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MVNO launches transatlantic ‘Lycamobile Racing’ powerboat team to help boost brand awareness and sales in the UK and US. Editor Michael Garwood reports

Lycamobile has entered a team into the 2015 Powerboat P1 Superstock Powerboat Championship, exposing its brand to more than 50 million people in over 100 countries worldwide.

The self proclaimed world’s biggest international MVNO, launched its ‘Lycamobile Racing’ team for the 2015 season in London’s Royal Victoria Dock earlier this month after extending its sponsorship of Powerboat P1 (equivalent to the FA in football) for a further two years.

The Lycamobile Racing team will compete in 10 transatlantic powerboat races over the next six months, starting in Scarborough on May 29 and ending in St Petersburg, Florida on October 25. Races will be televised in more than 100 countries with viewing audiences estimated at over 50 million. UK crowds are expected to top 50,000 alone during the season.

Lycamobile CEO Christopher Tooley (pictured) told Mobile News the firm has set targets to boost customer numbers from 14 to 20 million by next year, something the rising popularity of powerboat racing will help it achieve.

“You can never have enough customers providing you can serve them properly. We have plans to grow our customer base. We don’t set specific targets for specific countries, but it’s fair to say there is still a lot of room for growth in the countries [in which] we are established, including the UK.

“What’s the value we can get out of P1? It ticks a lot of boxes for us  and the reasons we got involved last year, are the same as this year. It’s a challenger brand that is taking something new and exciting to a slightly different audience to the sponsorships we are already involved in.

“In the US they are based in Florida, which is a key area for us and a very high immigrant area. In the UK, it generated a lot of media coverage last year and will continue to do so this year.”

Lycamobile, which runs off the O2 network in the UK, is one of the most active MVNO’s when it comes to promoting its brand through sponsorships, but Tooley insists its methods are based purely on a strategic approach, rather than simply splashing its brand around wherever.

Current sponsorships include West Ham United, now in its fourth year, a deal based on the high level of international residents in the area. In March it partnered with ‘Chance to Shine Street’, an organisation that helps bring cricket to children in inner city areas and diverse communities affected by antisocial behaviour and youth crime.

The MVNO also recently teamed up with film studio DreamWorks, to co-promote its new movie Home in the UK market.

“Our strap-line is ‘Call the World For Less’ and calling home is something many of our customers do, so it created some great exposure,” said Tooley.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways of sponsoring. We are not a headline sponsor of a Formula One team or a shirt sponsor of a Premier League football team.

“We look for clever, sharp innovative sponsorship which gives us value for money that gets our brands into the eyes of our customers who are, at the end of the day, paying out of their own pockets.”

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