Proving for the umpteenth time in the past year or so everyone should really be paying more attention to the third best-known BBK-owned smartphone brand, Vivo has just signed likely its highest-profile, costliest sponsorship deal yet.

And mind you, we’re talking the title endorser of the Indian Premier League, the world’s most-attended national cricket competition, as well as the NBA’s official partner in China for the popularization of basketball.

But the FIFA World Cup takes Vivo to “another new level in terms of international exposure”, with its 20th edition back in 2014 racking up an estimated total television audience of 3.2 billion people, including over a billion viewers for the epic final between Germany and Argentina.

Sony was one of FIFA’s top marketing clients three years ago, though in the wake of corruption scandals shaking the football association to its core, it reportedly took a bit of shopping around to find a generous replacement.

Vivo and FIFA haven’t been forthcoming about the financial terms of their six-year contract, but “people briefed” on it claim the overall payment may exceed the equivalent of $450 million.

That’s a big chunk of change for a mobile device maker very few consumers in the US or even Europe have ever heard of. Obviously, that’s the point, at least as far as the old continent is concerned, where the other kind of football is king.

Both at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 installment in Qatar, as well as at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and 2021, the Vivo logo will appear “during every match on field advertising boards, event tickets, press release backdrops, and other key promotional areas.” Also, you know the drill – “customized” phones are coming to “offer a one of a kind experience for Vivo consumers and football fans.” A pretty big deal indeed.

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