HCL Technologies is doubling down on sponsorship to demonstrate its IT expertise, with potentially more deals on the way.

Looking to raise its profile on the global stage, the India-based IT services provider has signed two major partnerships over the past three years: Manchester United (2015) and, more recently, the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race.

HCL is using the partnerships to help properties improve fan engagement and operational efficiencies, and demonstrate how it can do the same for clients and prospects.

The sponsorship strategy is spearheaded by Matt Preschern, HCL executive vice president and CMO, who joined the company in 2014.

“When I joined HCL, we had not done any sponsorships. I’m a firm believer that the power of your brand is a reflection of a strong business strategy, who you partner with, and to what extent you can tell a compelling customer-facing story.”

And the strategy appears to be working. HCL is the fastest-growing global IT services brand in the world, according to the 2017 Brand Finance Global 500 Report.

Technology integration, customer experiences and social media play a key role in HCL’s sponsorship strategy.

As the official IT services provider for the Volvo Ocean Race, HCL is delivering solutions that bring fans closer to the eight-month-long race and stops in 12 host cities.

The technology spans digital content delivery, mobile data centers, wi-fi networks and multimedia facilities for media centers and race offices around the world.

HCL also is leveraging the tie with client entertainment and a social media campaign via the #MadeForTough hashtag.

The sponsorship follows HCL’s 2016 acquisition of Volvo Group’s external IT services business. Volvo Group owns and operates the Volvo Ocean Race.

“The opportunity presented itself to become the technology partner of the Volvo Ocean Race. When we looked at the makeup of the race, including its technology requirements and what’s associated with the race, including sustainability, its global nature, team aspect and culture, we felt it was a good opportunity.”

As the digital transformation partner of Manchester United, HCL is helping the soccer club better engage it’s more than 650 million followers around the world. That includes the upcoming launch of a new Manchester United mobile app.

HCL also uses Manchester United as a customer engagement platform. The company has activated the partnership with meet-and-greets with former manager Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford stadium and soccer clinics around the world.

And additional deals may be on the horizon. The caveat: HCL is only interested in partnerships in which it can help a club, team or other type of property overcome a technology-related challenge (fan engagement, digital experience, etc.)

“If we can help a club or team on their (technology) journey, we’re interested. Traditional sponsorships are not what we pursue.”

HCL is particularly interested in properties located in North America, a market that represents close to 60 percent of revenue, he added.