TV maker partners with UCLA, Rose Bowl

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-11-17 00:12

TV maker partners with UCLA, Rose Bowl

TV maker TCL has partnered with UCLA Athletics and has become the official TV of the Rose Bowl. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Chinese electronics giant TCL Corp, the world’s third-largest TV manufacturer, has teamed up with UCLA Athletics and also has become the official TV of the Rose Bowl in an effort to grow brand awareness in the US.

The company, based in Huizhou, in South China’s Guangdong province, on Tuesday announced a new long-term partnership with UCLA Athletics, one of the US' most recognizable collegiate athletic programs, to become an official sponsor of the Bruins football and basketball teams, starting with the 2016-17 season.

TCL also becomes the official TV of the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California, a notable sports venue that serves as the home field for the Bruins football team and site of college football’s Rose Bowl game, known as “The Granddaddy of Them All”, which has been played annually since 1916. The Rose Bowl also hosted the 1994 World Cup Final soccer match between Brazil and Italy.

As part of the agreement, TCL 4K Roku TVs and signage will be featured throughout the Rose Bowl for UCLA football games. Additionally, TCL will have prominent signage featured in Pauley Pavilion, where the Bruins’ basketball team plays its home games.

“As the official TV partner of the Rose Bowl, it’s an honor to have our premium televisions featured in this historic stadium known for hosting the highest-attended college bowl game,” said Chris Larson, vice-president of sales and marketing at TCL North America.

“We offer fans a way to watch football from anywhere, from the venue to homes or tailgates across the country … ” he said.

TCL’s 4K Roku TVs provide football fans with more options to catch their favorite teams from home with special access to subscription services that provide out-of-market games, live and on-demand streaming through a cable or satellite provider, as well as free channels with sports highlights and live games for those without cable subscriptions, the company said.

TCL, short for “The Creative Life”, unveiled its 4K Ultra HD TVs powered by Roku at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and launched the new TV line, including six models in 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes, in the US market in March.

Since the TCL Roku TV was launched in 2014, more than 1 million sets have been sold in the US, according to the company.

“We’re excited to partner with a brand like TCL, both a tremendous growth company and world-leader in its industry, and we look forward to the beginning of a very successful relationship,” said UCLA Senior Associate Athletic Director Josh Rebholz.

TCL also has teamed up with former UCLA standout Anthony Barr, an outside linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, to sponsor his charity “Raise the Barr”, which helps single mothers pursue higher education.

The company is giving away 4K TVs each week of the 2016 football season – one to a selected winner and one to Barr’s cause.

A fast-growing television brand in the US, TCL has been stepping up investments in marketing partnerships to grow its name recognition.

Previous marketing efforts include the purchase of the naming rights to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, partnership with Paramount and other Hollywood properties, co-marketing of the film Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation, and the official TV sponsorship of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“The aim is to associate TCL with premium brands to get the American consumers to understand what it represents,” Larson said in an earlier interview.

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