The Gold Coast Suns have announced a five year sponsorship deal with Huawei, which will see it become the club's official technology and ball partner.
The deal sees Huawei branding on all the balls used at the Gold Coast Suns' home ground, Metricon Stadium, and ARN understands Huawei will also be responsible for its IT infrastructure build as technology partner.
“Huawei is proud to be announcing its first major sponsorship in AFL. Like the Gold Coast Suns in the AFL, Huawei is relatively young in the Australian ICT & Telecommunications market, but we both continue to build and grow from strength-to-strength," said Huawei Australia's board director John Brumby.
“This sponsorship will enable Huawei to further build its consumer brand awareness through the Gold Coast Suns' popularity at home games and television audiences around the country,” he said.
This follows on from Huawei's other high profile sponsorship spots, including the NRL's Canberra Raiders and cycling's Tour De Cure in Australia.
Gold Coast Suns CEO, Andrew Travis, welcomed the Chinese telecommunications giant to its portfolio of sponsors for the 2015 season.
“Through the partnership Huawei will take on a prominent brand position, but we will also be working together on a number of innovative concepts in which we will focus squarely on enhancing the fan experience at Metricon Stadium."
As technology partner, Huawei is also modernising the 50,000 seat stadium, although Huawei would not comment on specifics.
ARN understands the IT infrastructure build will involve installing wi-fi to increase in-stadium engagement for sports fans, alongside digital billboard, zoning and event customisation, such as for concerts.
The Metricon build will have the same focus as Huawei's other IT stadium projects around the world.
As technology partner for soccer team Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga, in 2013 the company kitted out home ground Signal Iduna Park with a complete WLAN infrastructure solution, which was able to ensure 80,000 spectators had access to reliable wi-fi. This enables spectators to utilise social media, post pictures and push exclusive in-stadium content to spectators' mobile phones, such as team line-ups, messages and merchandising opportunities via mobile apps and other means.
Huawei has just come off another high growth year, growing revenue by 109 percent in the Australian market alone. Worldwide, it posted a $US4.5 billion global profit, up 32.7 per cent.