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Huawei signs ‘first major sports team sponsorship’

30 March 2012 | Posted in Sponsorship, Rugby, Oceania | By Michael Long

Chinese IT and telecommunications firm Huawei has signed a two-year deal to become the major sponsor of the Canberra Raiders NRL team.

Under the terms of the agreement, effective immediately, Huawei – pronounced ‘wah-way’ – will feature on the front of the Raiders’ home and away jerseys until the end of the 2013 season, however the deal includes an option to extend to 2015.

While financial terms were not released, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald the agreement is worth some AUS$1.7 million (US$1.77 million) overall.

Huawei Australia chairman John Lord said: “This is Huawei’s first major sports-team sponsorship anywhere in the world, and we’re delighted it’s with the Raiders. As Huawei ventures into new business areas like mobile handsets and Enterprise IT, this partnership with the Raiders will help build our brand. With Huawei’s 140,000 staff, it’s safe to say that the Raiders have just gained 140,000 new fans around the world.”

Canberra Raiders chief executive Don Furner added: “The Canberra Raiders are extremely proud to enter into this partnership with such a large and successful company like Huawei. Huawei is a world leader of information and communications technology and to have them associated with the Raiders is a massive boost for the club and our members.”

“Huawei’s partnership with the Raiders is also a massive vote of confidence in the city of Canberra and its people. It is well known that Canberrans are very IT savvy and I think Huawei recognised this in choosing the Raiders. By their own admission they are a company that most people in Australia have used, but have never heard of.”

“Accordingly, the Raiders look forward to increasing Huawei’s brand awareness and assist in promoting the company’s products.”

The Shenzhen-based company, which was founded by ex-Chinese soldier Ren Zhengfei, was recently banned by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard from bidding for contracts to work on the country’s new National Broadband Network on the grounds of “national interests.”

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