why tech brands love sports

Smartphone brands that sponsor sporting events are legion, but what do they really gain from this kind of collaboration? Oppo, a partner of Roland-Garros, gives us some answers.

Oppo is an official partner of Roland-Garros // Source: Frandroid

Applause, a few shouts, then completely calm. The audience at Philippe Chatrier court watches in religious silence as Rafael Nadal prepares for his service. The legend of the Roland-Garros tournament faces another tennis juggernaut, the world’s number 1 Novak Djokovic, in the quarterfinals. He bounces the yellow ball on the clay, tosses it in the air and hits hard with his racket. The two opponents go battle for battle in this clash of the titans. Nadal 15, Djokovic 0.

The match lasts until 1.30 am and ends with a victory for the Spaniard. That is on a sporting level. On the marketing side, a few brands are rubbing their hands. This clash at the top of world tennis gives them visibility. Rolex and Perrier in particular whose names appear on the clocks of the field or the head referee’s chair. But on the side panels adjacent to the pitch, millions of viewers can see the logos of Emirates, Renault, Lavazza… or even Oppo.

Oppo at Roland-Garros, it’s not just an advertising supplement

However, at frandroid, we wondered why a brand of smartphones (among other tech products) would like to associate its image with a sporting event. Is there a real interest in the company? Especially since Oppo is far from alone in this scenario. For example, in football, Vivo is a partner of the Euro when TCL sponsors the Copa América.

With a big smile on his face, delighted to attend this spectacular match to which we were also invited by the brand, Julian Clobus, Marketing and Communications Director at Oppo AED France, is trying us out during the short breaks awarded by the players to explain his group’s strategy around Roland-Garros. † Many people think that a partnership with a sports tournament is only meant to put our name on advertising on the field. In reality, this insert is just an anchor. Even though it’s an important part of the partnership, it’s really everything we’re going to do around it that matters the most

Julian Clobus
Julian Clobus, Marketing and Communications Director of Oppo AED France // Source: Oppo

The silence that is necessary during a tennis match is not conducive to long conversations, we decide to continue this exchange a few days later to go deeper. The opportunity for Julian Clobus to clarify his point using a metaphor. †Roland-Garros provides the wheels, but it’s up to you [à la marque] to build the carcass and everything else to board people with you

In other words, on the occasion of Roland-Garros, Oppo is of course delighted to see its name visible very close to tennis players, but it would be almost useless if there weren’t a communication strategy everywhere. The goal: to increase awareness and, in the end increase sales.

gain fame

In the words of the representative of Oppo AED France, the advertising insert that the brands put on the edge of the field serves as “bail“You should almost see it as proof that the collaboration does indeed exist. The Roland-Garros partner then has a free hand to transfer the package to other communication channels.

Roland Garros Rafael Nadal Oppo
The Oppo logo is displayed on the edge of the runway at Roland-Garros //Source: Frandroid

And the nerves of war are fame. This is an essential concept in marketing, especially in the world of smartphones or new technologies. In a market where giants like Samsung or Apple have established themselves, competitors must redouble their efforts to make themselves known to the general public in a positive way.

For Oppo – a giant on a global scale, but relatively young in France – a tournament like Roland-Garros can impressively accelerate prominence. Like all brands, the group regularly conducts market research to get a feel for the pulse. †By 2021, we had achieved approximately 22 awareness points over the course of the year. And during a period like Roland Garros we will look for 5 or 6 points of fame

Gael Monfil's Oppo
Tennis player Gaël Monfils is Oppo ambassador // Source: Oppo

How is the brand doing? It’s pretty simple. During the few weeks that the tournament lasts, she activates several communication points. In addition to classic advertisements at physical or online points of sale and traditional contests on social networks, Oppo also sets up special campaigns. As an example, the spokesperson cites the fact that Gaël Monfils (French tennis player) is an ambassador of Oppo and thus can promote the manufacturer’s products to his community.

Julian Clobus also reflects on the photo exhibition”From the shadow to the lightorganized by his company. In this context, photographer Ryad Guelmaoui used an Oppo Find X5 Pro to shoot portraits of the people involved in the tournament, but not necessarily flagged (ball boys, umpires, coordinators, etc.). The images have been retouched, but only with tools available on the smartphone.

For Oppo, this is an opportunity to deliver a great technological demonstration and provide editorial content that is pleasant for the public to consult. †In addition, Roland Garros is coming shortly after the launch of our Find X range“, our interlocutor specifies, the timing is perfect.

What impact on sales?

The joining of forces with Roland-Garros therefore offers great opportunities for Oppo, which, thanks to the tournament, can activate many levers to increase its popularity with the public. Sure, but does all this have a real impact on smartphone sales? Yes and no.

Be in people’s minds

Strictly speaking, it is not this partnership that is driving consumers to jump on Oppo devices. In comparison, if you see an advertisement on television, you probably do not feel an unstoppable urge to buy the product presented. However, “cevery point of contact plays a role“, emphasizes Julian Clobus. What a brand strives forit should be on people’s minds when they start asking themselves the question of a purchase

In other words, promoting a brand is not meant to trigger a purchase decision, but to influence it when activated. The moment you buy a smartphone, you remember everything you have seen on this or that manufacturer.

oppo-find-x5-pro-(7)
Oppo Find X5 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid

Roland-Garros is a formidable platform in this regard. Some may think that a tournament sponsor would only reach tennis fans, but in reality, this competition offers “audience penetration 3 to 4 times highere,” says the Oppo representative.

As for phone sales, Julian Clobus says there are immediate effects that can be felt during the Roland-Garros sponsorship campaign. However, it is above all necessary to plan for the long term. This type of campaign pays off over time in terms of acquiring new customers.

occupy the country

The Marketing and Communications Director of Oppo AED France recalls a simple rule in this regard. Selling products asks, among other things, to maximize the share of voice. This concept is an indicator that allows companies to measure their ad presence compared to that of all competing advertisers. Specific, “it is the ability to occupy the groundRoland-Garros provides a very good foundation from this point of view. It is then up to the brand to transform the pilot with a content strategy intelligently designed around the event totell a storycoherent and pleasant from the first contact with the consumer to the purchase of the smartphone by them.

Roland-Garros also has Oppo. required

As you will have understood, the cooperation has many advantages for Oppo. However, this collaboration also has advantages for Roland-Garros – apart from the nice amount that the organizers of the tournament had to receive to showcase this sponsor.

By partnering with a brand in the technology news sector, a sports competition can reach a wider audience who may not have spontaneously expressed an interest in the event. In the case of Roland-Garros, the traditional audience is aging considerably.

Court Philippe Chatrier Roland Garros
The Philippe Chatrier Court in Roland-Garros // Source: Frandroid

However, through the sponsor of Oppo, the tournament has the opportunity to bring its name and logo to the fore among the smartphone brand community, undoubtedly a younger average age.

Moreover, today,there is no longer too much sponsorship that is just display strategy‘ says Julian Clobus. †When we sign a contract, the most important question is: what can we bring to each other?

So whoever wins in the final, the tournament itself and the sponsors always win.


To follow us, we invite you to download our Android and iOS application. You can read our articles, files and watch our latest YouTube videos.