Football: Phoenix sign largest sponsorship deal in NZ football history

Michael McGlinchey of the Phoenix makes a break from Gui Finkler of the Victory. Photo/Getty.
Michael McGlinchey of the Phoenix makes a break from Gui Finkler of the Victory. Photo/Getty.

The Wellington Phoenix have signed the largest sponsorship deal in New Zealand football history, extending their partnership with Huawei for at least another three seasons.

The announcement was made in Beijing today by Huawei global Board Director and Asia Pacific President Mr Li Jin'ge today and was attended by Prime Minister John Key as part of his visit to China.

Huawei first partnered with the Phoenix for the 2013/14 season on a three year deal.
Connecting with football fans through the Phoenix had been a huge part of growing the brand in New Zealand.

"This partnership has been outstanding for Huawei, building our profile in Australasia, and providing amazing experiences for our customers and friends in New Zealand," said Jin'ge.

The Wellington Phoenix was Huawei's first major football partnership, and since signing on with the Phoenix, the company's stable has grown to include such iconic clubs as Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico de Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and AC Milan.

This year Huawei announced Lionel Messi as a Global Brand Ambassador.

Phoenix general manager David Dome said having a partner with such global reach had brought new opportunities for the franchise.

"With Huawei we have been able to achieve some quite fantastic things," said Dome. "We brought English Premier League sides West Ham and Newcastle United to play in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin.

"We took on Atletico Madrid and Aston Villa while competing at the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens. And most importantly, we've been able to build a team which is playing the kind of football fans want to come and watch.

"Huawei have become integral to the way we do things at the Phoenix. They are included in all the major decisions that we make as a club."

The new partnership will allow the Phoenix to return to Hong Kong this year, and a further match is expected to take place in Beijing.

Dome said with Huawei's commitment, next season was looking likely to be one of the best yet.

"We have been building this team under Ernie Merrick and they are now playing some fantastic football.

"For next season we are adding two of the A-League's best in Gui Finkler and Kosta Barbarouses who will add some real flair and firepower."

The sponsorship extension follows the FFA issuing a 10-year license to the Phoenix, securing their future as New Zealand's professional football team.

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