Africa is a sport loving continent, and governments in the region have utilised it to gain popularity and support from the people.
This situation is also being played on by some global and African-based technology companies to penetrate the new market or gain a larger market share in their existing territories. Over the years, many of these companies have been funding the developments of sports not only as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) but as a marketing strategy.
Popular sports like soccer, basketball, rugby, and cricket have attracted the interest of tech companies in the form of sponsorship deals, associate with teams, competitions and players.
Here are major tech companies in Africa using sports sponsorships to conquer markets.
MTN Group, South Africa
MTN Group is a South African telecommunication company and the largest in the region. The company has been a major sponsor of top-flight leagues in Africa.
The company has partnered with CAF, and recently became the major sponsor of Springboks – the South African national rugby team.
These sponsorships provided MTN Group vast brand exposure during many editions of AFCON and rugby championships.
Orange is a French telecommunication giant which is popular in many French-speaking countries in Africa. In 2009, the company signed an eight-year deal with the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
These deals involve sponsoring of all major soccer competitions on the continent which are affiliated to CAF.
With the brand exposure gained from this competition, the company is now planning entrance into English-speaking part of the continent with Ghana as the first.
Telkom, South Africa
Telkom has had a long history of sponsoring soccer and athletics. The company was the main sponsor of the South African athletics team to the Olympics.
Samsung, South Korea
Samsung has also been a major partner of CAF since 2008. This provides the electronic giant opportunity to supply electronic and telecommunications gadgets for the tournaments.
More so, the company uses its ‘Pop-Up Stadium’ to organize viewing opportunities for football lovers to enjoy the continental tournament live from the hosting countries.
Bharti Airtel, India
Airtel is a major sponsor of grassroots sports in Africa. It has also used this sponsorship deals to penetrate many African countries including Kenya, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Chad, Tanzania, Congo, Zambia, Madagascar, Uganda, Seychelles, Malawi, Nigeria, DRC, Niger and Rwanda.
The telecom also operates a soccer academy and generic competitions such as Airtel Rising Stars competition and academies.