Sony rings in Real Madrid star Gareth Bale to help revive smartphone sales

Real Madrid midfielder Gareth Bale is the new ambassador for Sony's Xperia Z3 range of smartphones, and its activity tracker Lifelog, as the company looks to boost sales.

Sony Mobile: new Xperia Z3 ambassador Gareth Bale
Sony Mobile: new Xperia Z3 ambassador Gareth Bale

The new partnership kicks off with a month-long competition for anyone who purchases a phone from the Z3 line-up from a Vodafone store. Those who enter will have the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Madrid to watch a game, and train with Bale on the pitch. 

According to Sony, more "extraordinary experiences" with Bale will follow, though it hasn’t said what. According to a spokeswoman, Bale has signed up with Sony for a year.

Sony Mobile's marketing director, Catherine Cherry, said: "Fitness is a key passion point for our customers and working with such an established athlete means that we can reward them like never before."  

The deal marks a difficult time for Sony in the smartphone market. While the company’s Xperia Z3 line has been praised by reviewers, that has not translated into profits.

The company recently outlined a strategy overhaul, with CEO Kazuo Hirai putting the emphasis on growth areas within Sony, such as PlayStation and cameras. Asked about Sony’s flagging mobile business, Hirai said the firm would not "rule out considering an exit strategy", according to Reuters.


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