BenQ to Sponsor European Cup Soccer

Dec 09, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By , CENS
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BenQ Corp., one of Taiwan's biggest makers of information technology (IT) hardware products, said recently that it will be a sponsor of European Cup soccer in the coming year. The announcement was made by Jerry Wang, president of the firm's international marketing operations.

This will make BenQ the first Taiwan company to sponsor a world-class sports event in Europe. The firm chose soccer because of its popularity among consumers in China, Europe, and Latin America.

Besides supplying its IT products--including liquid crystal display (LCD) screens and Joybook laptop computers--for the event, BenQ will also provide real-time computer multimedia-information and game-management systems for reporting results and standings during the competition. It will have to set up these systems in eight European cities.

Furthermore, BenQ will be responsible for establishing the official European Cup website, which will present game schedules and results.

In return for all this help, BenQ wll be allowed to post its advertisements on the sides of the playing fields.

The European Cup commitment follows the example established by Acer's sponsorship of the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998, for which Acer—BenQ's parent company—gave a donation of US$10 million worth of computers for the right to post its ads on the official website.

The 2004 European Cup will take place from June 12 through July 4 in Portugal. The previous competition, in 2000, attracted 1.2 million on-site spectators and 7 billion TV viewers. Next year, the TV audience is expected to reach over 10 billion.

Seven other sponsors will join BenQ at the games: Coca-Cola, JVC, McDonald's, Canon, MasterCard, NTT, and Hyundai Motor. All have to pass screening by UEFA, the competition organizer, for product quality, brand image, size, and credibility.

BenQ and its parent, Acer, favor sponsorship of mainstream sports such as soccer, baseball, and golf (Acer has also sponsored Ferrari in Formula One car racing). Obviously, their executives believe that involvement with such sports in Europe will build up their image among European consumers.
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