Music properties should put Huawei on their prospect list.
Huawei Device USA, Inc. is turning up the volume on music marketing.
The Chinese company—which markets wireless handsets, USB devices and other telecommunications and networking devices—has inked presenting status of the Jonas Brothers’ 2013 summer tour.
The deal follows Huawei’s 2011 sponsorship of Enrique Iglesias’ Euphoria tour, a deal spearheaded by MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
Huawei—pronounced “wah-way” in English—is using music to build visibility and engage 18-to-32-year-olds. The company, which entered the U.S. market in 2007, positions itself as the “value leader” in the wireless handset category.
“Music is an international language,” said Michael Chuang, executive vice president with Huawei Device USA.
And additional deals may be in the works.
“We’re constantly looking for sponsorship opportunities,” he said.
While the Jonas Brothers may seem like an odd choice given the band’s relatively low profile over the past few years, Chuang points to excitement over the band’s first tour in three years and the brothers’ enthusiasm, personable nature and passion for their work as primary drivers for the sponsorship.
“We’re very much aligned in terms of our spirit and culture.”
The Jonas Brothers’ squeaky-clean image may also have been appealing. Huawei has faced scrutiny in the U.S. and other countries over ties to the Chinese military and alleged espionage. The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last year urged U.S. companies to avoid working with Huawei over security concerns, although a White House report found no evidence of any illegal activity.
Huawei plans to activate the sponsorship with on- and off-site promotions dangling tickets, meet-and-greets and music downloads. It also is exploring the possibility of in-store promotions, said Chuang.
The company also plans to use the sponsorship to promote the upcoming launch of a new handset, added Chuang, who declined to elaborate.
In addition to MetroPCS, Huawei sells through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and other tier 1 and tier 2 wireless carriers.
Outside of music, Huawei has a limited sponsorship history in the U.S. market. The company last year partnered with the Taste of Chicago to support its “Access Smarter” campaign but has no other significant deals.
Soccer Takes Center Stage Outside The U.S.
Huawei focuses on soccer outside the U.S., with a focus on one-off games.
For example, Huawei in 2012 sponsored a friendly match between New Zealand’s All Whites and China. In 2011, the company sponsored the Italian Supercoppa, a face-off between A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. Both games were held in Beijing.
Huawei last year sponsored Atlético de Madrid for several games. The deal included jersey sponsorship at the UEFA Super Cup and other matches.
The telco also is a jersey sponsor of Australia’s Canberra Raiders National Rugby League club.