Liverpool FC fans in India get lucky as Reds’ club signs deal with Desi firm Xolo

Archana Venkatraman

Liverpool FC, the iconic English club, has recognised the rising popularity of football in India and has signed a three-season deal with Indian smartphone brand Xolo to give lucky fans an opportunity to witness live matches at Anfield, the team's home-ground and to even meet its players and legends.

Liverpool FC strikes a deal with Indian mobile handset brand Xolo to promote the Reds' team and the sport in India
Image: Twitter

A 2013 survey revealed Liverpool Football Club as the most trusted football brand in India. The Reds finished second only to the Indian Premier League (cricket) as the most trusted sports brand in the country, according to the Brand Trust Report India 2013.

"India, today, is one of the world's fastest growing football destinations, with the sport emerging as a popular choice amongst new-age Indian audiences,” said Vishal Sehgal, co-founder and director at Lava International, the maker of Xolo.

To cash in on this growing popularity of the English Premier League in India, Liverpool FC has made Xolo an exclusive marketing partner for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh until May 2016. Xolo is likely to spend up to 100-crore rupees in promoting football and Liverpool FC in the subcontinent.

As part of the deal, it will offer its users in India the chance to meet various Liverpool FC players and legends. Some lucky fans will also get the unique opportunity to witness live matches at Anfield, the Reds' home-ground. Football fans in India will also get news and content about the club on their smartphones.

The collaboration with the iconic English football club makes Xolo the first Indian handset brand to associate with football in the Indian subcontinent. The company aims to deepen its engagement with younger, new-age Indian consumers who are developing a deeper interest in English Premier League.  

"Liverpool FC is one of the most popular clubs in the country, with an iconic legacy. We are thrilled to have this association with a club that is revered as it seeks to grow the popularity of the sport in India. Through this association with Liverpool FC, we will seek to drive growth for football in India," said Sunil Raina, Business Head, Xolo.

The deal will also see Xolo work with Liverpool FC supporters and fan clubs in India to engage with a variety of football leagues, coaching camps and tournaments, bringing the Club further closer to fans in India.

“We have millions of fans in India and we are committed to bringing the Club closer to them,” said Billy Hogan Liverpool FC’s chief commercial officer. The marketing deal and the club’s previous effort of launching its very first International Academy in Pune represent the start of our journey in India to make fans feel like their Club is right on their doorstep, Hogan said.

To celebrate the partnership signed on January 6, 2014, XOLO provided young football-crazy fans a chance to meet Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler. Three lucky winners of the Facebook contest 'One-Two with Robbie' interacted with the football legend. 

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