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TV brand TCL bets big on soccer success
Last Updated: 2018-07-05 12:59 | China Daily
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Chinese home appliance maker TCL Corp said it will speed up its expansion in Russia, eyeing the huge potential from the world's largest country by land area as it hosts the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"Overall TV sales in Russia will reach more than 6 million units this year. Russian consumers pay special attention to the technology of products, especially QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diode) technology," said Wang Cheng, senior vice-president of TCL Corp and CEO of TCL Multimedia.

TCL's sales in the Russian market rose by 30 percent from January to May, due to the World Cup and the endorsement of Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar, which is two times the average growth rate, said Leonid Churikov, marketing communications director of Merlion company, an exclusive distributor of TCL in Russia.

The Russian market is of strategic importance for TCL's overseas expansion, and the company's TV products are included in the top three chain selling channels in Russia, Wang said.

Neymar has been appointed TCL's global brand ambassador. The partnership, as a key next step in TCL's global brand strategy, will help it to reach a wide audience of young sports fans worldwide, raising its global brand visibility, according to the company.

Outdoor advertising campaigns related to Neymar's endorsement of TCL can be seen in more than 200 cities across 14 countries, including Russian cities hosting the World Cup.

"We will continue our global expansion, especially in emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, and India, and enhance brand visibility via investments in sports and entertainment marketing activities," Wang said.

He emphasized that artificial intelligence, QLED technology and large-sized screens will be the company's core development direction in the future, adding the company will continue to launch high-end products and enhance its technology to attract more young consumers.

The Guangdong-based company has also launched its latest flagship QLED TV and ultra high definition TV, with an eye on the World Cup.

During this year's 618 shopping festival from June 1 to 20, sales of TCL's home appliances products, such as TVs, refrigerators and air conditioners, increased by 45.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 1.65 billion yuan.

So far, TCL has entered more than 160 countries and regions. It shipped 23.8 million TV sets around the world last year, an increase of 15.9 percent year-on-year. It ranked among the top three brands in the global LCD TV market, with a market share of 10.9 percent in 2017, according to IHS Technology.

Zhang Xiaoguang, general manager of TCL's brand management center, said, "Chinese companies have shown great interest in participating in the World Cup, and Chinese brands will be recognized by more consumers worldwide via some important sports events."

Liang Zhenpeng, an independent consumer electronics analyst, said: "TV sales will soar 10 percent to 20 percent from June to July compared with the same period last year. Soccer fans prefer to watch matches on TVs that can guarantee a better and clearer image, rather than on smartphones.

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