HTC in mystery tie up with UEFA Champions League [updated]

Allan Swann
December 12, 2012

HTC has been picked as the official global phone supplier of UEFA’s Champions League and Euro Cup. However, no one really seems to know what that really means.

While HTC boasts that this means it will “deliver new and innovative ways for fans around the world to get closer to the action. Whether in the stadium watching the game, or viewing content on a HTC device, fans will be there to share every moment.”

Presumably this means some sort of content delivery tie in, but HTC has remained pretty mum, stating simply that ‘further details on the partnership’ will be announced in due course. The agreement runs from 1 January 2013 to the end of the 2014/2015 football season.

“Football elicits so much passion around the world and we are excited to partner with one of the leading sporting brands in the world,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation.

“We’ll be working closely with UEFA to offer football experiences to all fans in addition to providing a richer overall mobile experience.”

An HTC spokesperson told What Mobile that at this stage the announcement is more a’statement of intent’ and that information regarding the nature of the arrangement have not been finalised. He did however say that the partnership goes far beyond mere in ground banner advertising or onscreen ad stings, and “will deliver surprising football experiences to fans through creative content and the latest technologies.”

A statement released by the company stated simply “This partnership combines HTC’s tradition of working with global leaders in the world of music, imaging, design and sport with the interests and cultural passion points of consumers around the world.”

So who knows? Will it be some kind of shopping app tie in (i.e. to buy your team’s merchandise)? An ‘in-ground’ second screen app (i.e. getting live stats, commentary or even live video replays on your mobile/tablet) inside the stadium? Or a simple sponsorship tie-in with the new Champions League app for everyone outside the stadium?

Either way it is a big move by HTC – and will put the brand in front of the £1.1bn Champion’s League viewers. HTC has struggled somewhat in the last 12 months, despite producing excellent devices (its HTC One X+ is reviewed in our current print issue) it has struggled to capture the imagination of the public. Samsung has become the defacto high end flagship model for Google’s Android smartphone operating system, battling head to head with the iPhone, while most other brands are sidelined. Like Nokia, another company stumped by the rise of the iPhone-style smartphone, it has also backed Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform (see our review of the HTC Windows Phone 8X here).

[update: HTC says the agreement “will allow HTC to reach football fans around the world with a host of rights, whether they are in the stadium or in front of the TV at home.”

This includes broadcast credits, access to content such as match footage and archives, as well as match tickets and an ad presence across all digital media platforms. HTC will also have exclusive branding on the official match photographers’ jackets. Further information will be revealed in the new year]

Image credit: Rayand 

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