Nokia India has entered into a long term partnership with football club, FC Barcelona. Through this association, Nokia India will become a regional partner for FC Barcelona in India and will reach out to FC Barcelona supporters through retail, on ground activation, television, digital and social media. Although the statement from Nokia mentions a six month long campaign, the duration of the partnership with the football club is not clear. We have asked Nokia for a clarification and would update the article once we get a response.

Campaign: Nokia will launch a six month long consumer campaign where it will promote the club through digital, television, on ground activation and would also launch a mobile app on Nokia Lumia smartphones. Through its campaign, Nokia will also form a ‘dream team’ of 11 consumers who will get to travel to Barcelona to meet the FC Barcelona players and watch the team play at Camp Nou, home ground of FC Barcelona.

It’s not clear whether the partnership will also include FCB branded Lumia handsets or whether the Nokia Lumia smartphones will include audio and video clips, and apps related to the football club. We have contacted Nokia for the same and would update the post once we receive a response. We believe Nokia’s tie-up with the club is more marketing related and we are unsure how it would benefit Nokia in the long run. Nokia, which recently reported losses in quarter ended 30th September 2012, has been struggling to sell its smartphone range – Lumia. The company reported Lumia Q3 volumes decreased quarter-on-quarter to 2.9 million units. For the last quarter, Nokia had shipped 4 million Lumia phones.

Other similar developments: In 2009, Telecom operator Airtel had inked a five year deal with football club Manchester United, which allowed Airtel customers in India, Sri Lanka and Seychelles access to Manchester United  content on their mobiles, apart from allowing nominated Airtel customers to participate in Manchester United Soccer Schools training sessions, watch Manchester United UEFA Champions League games. Recently, Airtel had entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Arsenel Football club, which allowed the African branch of Airtel to utilize the football clubs merchandise and other provisions to facilitate its mobile offerings in five markets: Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda. Airtel also has the club’s hospitality and content rights.