Chinese mobile phone brand OPPO recently extended its partnership with La Liga champions, FC Barcelona, meaning it’s now the longest running partnership between a Chinese brand and a European football club

InsiderSport spoke to Oppo’s global marketing director, Derek Sun about what has made the longstanding partnership so successful, as well as what activations fans can look forward to as part of the extension.

InsiderSport: Firstly, can you tell us more about how much it means to be associated with a club like Barcelona?

Derek Sun: The Values of FCB and OPPO’s match each other: FCB is a successful club, however the beauty in what they achieve is found in how they get there. At OPPO, we share the same values, being committed to providing consumers with outstanding smartphone technology.

The enduring popularity of FCB for hundreds of years and the long-term healthy development of OPPO enterprises are based on the persistence and inheritance of their respective cultures.

While Barca believes in enjoying the football process, naturally winning matches and respect, OPPO is committed to building great products and successful markets to follow. Both sides adhere to corporate values and are not affected by the impetuous market, and have achieved success beyond winning and losing and profits.

OPPO’s strategy to establish brand image in Europe: The European market is of key strategic focus of OPPO. Adhering to the principle of branding first, OPPO’s partnerships with global sport institutions helps establish a better understanding of the brand identity and strength of OPPO. The influence of FCB on the globe and attraction of the European market are also vital experiments. 

InsiderSport: As the longest partnership between a European club and a Chinese brand, what elements have led to this partnership flourishing so well? 

Derek SunFCB not only focuses on the what but also the how, if you enjoy the process you will naturally win the game and gain respect; OPPO strives to make great products, the results will follow. 

FCB is almost 120 years, OPPO’s vision is also for long growth and sustainability as a company, both follow our own value and culture. 

FCB is more than a club, with its own La Masia training camp and charity; OPPO is more than a mobile manufacture to explore of science and technology. 

There’s a lot of commonality between these two organisations that are always looking to push the boundaries. Barcelona is more than a club, and we are more than a smartphone company. For OPPO, our mission is to really become a healthier and a more sustainable enterprise, and we want to not only focus on the smartphone, but also expand our business to show that we can be a technology company that drives real change.

InsiderSport: In what ways can the OPPO phone help enrich the sporting experience for Barcelona fans? 

Derek Sun: OPPO’s 5G capabilities enable fans to immerse into and enjoy games: via the Reno 5G handset will help redefine the way fans consume sport, both at live sports events and at watching home. With improved connectivity, fans’ ability to stream, engage and create content surrounding sport events, such as football matches at FCB will be vastly improved 

OPPO’s outstanding image capture capabilities helps fans to record brilliant battles: give consumers the opportunity to use create their own narrative through the art of film and photography, allowing them the excitement of looking forward to capturing the perfect shot and creating an unforgettable experience 

Creators’ platform for fans to express their individualities: OPPO is willing to provide a platform for display for young creators, creating opportunities for them, and letting each creator to be photographer in their own right 

InsiderSport: Could you describe the thought process behind the new Limited Edition FCB handset, and how unique this activation is? 

Derek Sun: Before engineers start design FCB edition smartphone, they have deeply considered about needs and expectation of FCB fans. We asked ourselves questions like: How do you combine both legacy and the future? How do you design a team’s symbol of spirit and source of morale that is already embodied in its logo? How do you capture the deep passion players and fans exhibit on and off the field? 

Fans have deep affection for FCB’s colour pattern. We watched fans so proudly and vigorously waving club flags at the matches and knew that the oscillating colour pattern of garnet and blue, the sense of movement, fans old and new, all combined to highlight the club’s glorious history and magnificent future.

The phone, which combine OPPO’s technology and FCB’s culture perfectly. We designed this latest commemorative device with hardcore Barca fans in mind. The stunning new Limited Edition FCB handset from OPPO celebrates the fruitful 4-year partnership between the two sides, highlighting the mutual pursuit of perfection and innovation through artistry and technology. Conceptualised as “Combining technology with art”, the commemorative edition of the Reno 10x Zoom phone blends the team’s famous garnet and blue colors with hardware and software, fusing elements from the club’s past, present and future. OPPO has created a genuine work of art that is sure to resonate with Barca supporters globally.

Inspired by FC Barcelona’s diligence, humility, ambition, dignity, and team spirit, OPPO developed exclusive wallpapers and icons using elements like footballs, garnet and blue, and gradient technique. Fans can also feel like Barca is with them wherever they go, thanks to its custom ringtones that sample the FCB anthem and stadium sounds.

InsiderSport: What further activations can Barca fans look forward to as part of this partnership?

Derek Sun: This partnership opens an exciting new chapter in the OPPO-FC Barcelona story. There are several elements to this including, training camps, and fan workshops. More details will become available in due course, so please look forward to those announcements.