Lenovo scores touchdown with NFL sponsorship
Lenovo, the world's second-largest supplier of personal computers, this week kicked off one of its most high-profile marketing efforts in the United States by announcing a three-year sponsorship deal with the National Football League (NFL).
The Hong Kong-listed computer maker signed up as the exclusive provider of laptops, desktops and workstations for the 32-team American football league, which is the most popular among all the major professional sports associations in the US.
'The NFL has been a valued Lenovo customer since 2007, and now we'll work with the league to integrate our products even more into their operations,' said David Schmoock, the president of Lenovo North America.
'The NFL gives us a tremendous new forum to introduce consumers to our products and brand.'
Schmoock pointed out that the deal announced on Thursday at Lenovo's US campus in Morrisville, North Carolina, coincided with the company's 'tremendous growth in the US market', which is the world's second-largest personal computer market.
Market research firm IDC reported earlier this month that Lenovo jumped two spots in the quarter ended June 30 to seize an 8 per cent share and become the US market's No 4 personal computer supplier, behind top domestic brands Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Apple.
Lenovo, which was founded in Beijing in 1984, saw its global shipments rise 25.2 per cent in the second quarter to 12.9 million units, up from 10.3 million units a year earlier, to take a 14.9 per cent share worldwide.
The company narrowed the gap with industry leader HP, which had a 15.5 per cent market share in the same period.
The primary benefits for Lenovo as a major sponsor of the NFL is its right to use all league-owned trademarks in marketing and advertising activities for the next three years.
The first sponsorship activities will be at the 2012 NFL Kickoff event in early September.
Lenovo will also engage in sponsor programmes with select teams and players, and have a marked presence during the NFL championship game's Super Bowl week.
'We are committed to delivering the best game for our fans, and Lenovo will help us in that endeavour,' said NFL senior vice-president Keith Turner.
Lenovo was a worldwide sponsor for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The company signed a three-year sponsorship deal in 2006 with the National Basketball Association, the world's top professional basketball league.