Mobile handset manufacturer XOLO has inked a marketing deal with Liverpool Football Club, which will provide the handset manufacturer with content tailored by Liverpool FC on their mobile handsets, exclusive merchandise and a chance to meet Liverpool current and former players, apart from some fans, customers and business partners getting the opportunity to visit Anfield, Liverpool’s stadium, and watch a game. XOLO will also work with the clubs Official Supporters’ Club, delivering exciting Liverpool-themed events and fan tournaments. This follows Liverpool setting up full-time coaching academy in India.
We’ve heard of such marketing and content deals before: Airtel has two deals – a 3 year deal inked with Arsenal Football Club in 2012 for content and promotion in the five African markets of Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda, and another inked with Manchester United in 2009, which allows it access to mobile content for users in India, Sri Lanka and Seychelles, among other promotional plans. Airtel has largely used this deal for occasional promotion, and frankly, at least with the deal in India, we’ve hardly seen any promotion from the company leveraging the brand association. For XOLO, this is likely to be a largely promotional initiative as well: they’ll probably do more with marketing than Airtel has done so far, but on the content front, we don’t think anyone is going buy a handset just because it has Liverpool related content on it.
In 2010, Times Internet had also inked a mobile content deal with Everton FC, and, well…
A bigger deal, though, was Venky’s rather unpopular purchase of EPL club Blackburn Rovers. The club has since been relegated from the English Premier League, to the Football League Championship, the second highest division in the English.