Lenovo confirmed that NBA basketball super star, Kobe Bryant, was invited officially as Lenovo Smartphone spokesman in China and Southeast Asia area. Some thought that that move fits Lenovo overseas expansion strategy. Bur for Lenovo, it’s the first time for them to choose Sports star as Smartphone spokesman in the brand global marketing.
Actually, it’s not precedent for Lenovo to adopt Sports marketing. Lenovo invited Ronaldo Assis de Moreira as spokesman of Lenovo laptops, which rather worked for its brand communication then. Besides that, Lenovo was the top sponsor of Olympics, and cooperated with NFL and international marathon ever. In this aspect, Inviting Kobe as its Smartphone spokesman is just the first step of its Smartphone globalization strategy.
Lenovo Smartphone business expanded a lot in China 2012. But most of its Smartphone products are under 321 USD. And in CES 2012, we had seen that Lenovo launched high-end phone K900. Obviously, Lenovo aims to gain more high-end market share. So, spokesman is just one of marketing methods.
Sports star Sportsman actually has became a kind of successful way to promote brand. Just look at Samsung, who became the only one phone maker overwhelming Apple in 2012, invited LeBron James as spokesman of Samsung Galaxy Note 2. And if we go back further, Motorola, whose Razr series phones were sold more than 100 million, and behind the success is the spokesman David Beckham. Apparently, Lenovo plan to expand its Smartphone business by successful sports marketing.
And undoubtedly, Kobe Bryant is one of active super star players in NBA, who is even more influential than LeBron James. And Kobe does match the high-end Smartphone. Anyway, whether Lenovo can make it, it depends more on their products.