As Barcelona drew Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final draw, so Huawei drew Barca’s Argentinian star Lionel Messi in announcing its latest ambassador for the Chinese tech giant.
The deal is especially attractive for Huawei, which is looking to expand its reach in Europe, Asia and Latin America while Messi is immediately fronting a campaign for the current flagship phone, the Huawei Mate 8.
Backing up its claims to be one of the world’s top 3 smartphone manufacturers is a January 2016 IDC report placing Huawei in third with a 8.1% market share, behind Samsung (21.4%) and Apple (18.7%) but ahead of fellow Chinese marques Lenovo (5.1%) and Xiaomi (4.6%).
Messi had previously been in a partnership with Samsung while Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo teamed up with his club side Barcelona CF in May 2015.
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