Matthew Miller
Feb 22, 2012

Huawei Mobile launches skateboard-event sponsorship, live streaming

SYDNEY - Working with agency Arnold Furnace, the Australian arm of Chinese handset brand Huawei is sponsoring the 2012 Vans Bowl-a-Rama, a skateboarding event taking place 25 February at Syndey's Bondi Beach.

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The event is billed as the biggest professional "concrete" event in the Southern Hemisphere and features $85,000 in prize money. Major elements of the sponsorship effort include a live webcast of the professional competition, a party offering fans a chance to get a custom T-shirt printed with designs by "street and skate artists" from around the world, mobile phone displays, and a mobile-phone charging station embedded in a scooter.

Huawei's devices business (the company also provides telecom infrastructure equipment and enterprise products) launched its own brand in Australia in 2011 after years as a white-label provider to wireless operators.

Huawei lets each market operate independently in terms of marketing and promotion. In Australia, that means targeting young consumers with a focus on the social-sharing abilities of its phones and the slogan, 'Let's simply share', according to spokesman Luke Coleman. The brand doesn't try to compete with the highest-tech phones, but instead aims for providing affordable technology that's easy to use.

Sponsorship of events such as the Bowl-a-Rama and a recently announced plan to help bring Coldplay to Australia—with live webcasts of the band's performances through a virtual handset on the Hauwei website—fit perfectly with that strategy, Coleman said. "While I can't give away details, you can certainly expect to see more campaigns that are similar to this throughout 2012," he added.

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