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Vivo furthers Indian localisation strategy with IPL; plans major marketing push

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MUMBAI: With an aim to expand its Indian localisation strategy as well as furthering its interest and association in sporting events, Chinese multinational manufacturer of smartphones Vivo has set sight on the Indian market field in a big way.

As was reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, Vivo hit a six by grabbing the title sponsorship for the multi-million dollar cricket tourney - The Indian Premiere League (IPL) for a period of two years. The move came in the wake of Pepsi withdrawing its title sponsorship deal.

This is Vivo’s first and so far the largest brand association since its launch in the Indian market. With 2015 being Vivo’s 20th anniversary and the first anniversary in India, the company sees Vivo-IPL making the throttle of its development even stronger.

In the coming two seasons (2016 and 2017), Vivo and IPL will have extensive cooperation in terms of sports events, on-ground activations, media exposure and marketing campaigns.

As a brand, Vivo has shown great interest in sports and had sponsored NBA’s live broadcasting in China last year. With an aim to enhance its brand awareness and reputation as well as get closer to its potential customers in the vast Indian market, Vivo will be utilising the IPL medium to the hilt over the next two years with a major marketing push. The Chinese company plans to launch 360 degree marketing campaigns, which will include athlete endorsements, television commercials (TVCs), venue advertisements, on-ground activation, digital and social media campaigns and fan meetings amongst others.

Vivo Mobile India CEO Alex Feng said, “We always believe in supporting new talents and associated ourselves only with premium events globally. This investment reiterates how important Indian market is for us, and we are confident that Vivo will get returns from our investment in IPL, and this association will further advance our Love India, Love Vivo initiative.” 

“Vivo is the pioneer of Hi-Fi music smartphone, and we strive to create smartphones combined with artistic design and technological innovation. Vivo’s spirit is to pursue excellence and create surprises. IPL, as the world’s premium cricket event, is also creating the ultimate sports experience to the world. It is this shared commitment to excellence that brought IPL and Vivo together,” he added.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said, “IPL is all about opportunities and exhibition of talent and with Vivo coming in as the title sponsor, it is yet another initiative to showcase a brand, which is young, full of life and looking for a platform to showcase its talent. Just like the IPL, Vivo in a very short span have created a niche and legacy in the smartphone market and I am sure this will be a long and enriching affiliation for both the stakeholders.”

Speculations were rife that in the light of the match fixing controversy, which led to Pepsi pulling out of the IPL title sponsorship, the sponsorship rates might drop. However, Thakur informed that the IPL was still a coveted property in the eyes of many a brands. Thakur says that Vivo was not the only brand, which had bid for the IPL title sponsorship and that there were four brands, which were interested in coming on board as the title sponsor for the IPL and another three (apart from Vivo) were still interested in coming on board via different associations.. 

Starting from 2014, Vivo initiated its global expansion including India. The company’s association with IPL is a strong sign of its ambition of the long term development in India. Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative also resonates with Vivo’s plan. Its assembly unit in Greater Noida is the first step toward this commitment. With Rs 125 crore first-phase investment, this unit will be operational in November, 2015.

The company employs 8,000 people in India and has associated with over 10,000 retailers, in over 300 cities in 22 states, with a strong focus on Hi-Fi Music. The company embedded Hi-Fi & Smart into its brand and product genes. It created the world’s first Hi-Fi smartphone, established smartphone Hi-Fi standard and upgraded it to Hi-Fi 2.0.

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