Today, ZTE had a press conference at Madison Square Garden, which as most of you probably know, it’s the world’s most famous arena. We pretty much knew exactly what ZTE was going to announce today, given the leaks, as well as the venue at which they were having their event. However, they did throw a curve ball. They basically announced that they are the official phone maker of the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and Golden State Warriors. They didn’t announce any new phones, but they did show off a Nubia phone. However there was no hands-on, unfortunately.
“This announcement reinforces our commitment to building the ZTE brand in the United States and highlights our commitment to investing in the communities in which we live and work,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “These three teams are a perfect match as strategic partners for ZTE’s corporate sponsorship in the U.S., and combined, ZTE and all three global brands bring powerful lineups that will excite both sports and tech enthusiasts across the country. We look forward to building on our already 16-year track record of bringing robust, yet affordable premium smartphone to U.S. carriers and consumers alike.”
During the Q&A, Tad Smith who is the CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company, was asked if the New York Knicks would be required to have a ZTE phone. He said they wouldn’t be required, but if they wanted one, he’d be more than willing to give them one. Basically this is a new way that ZTE is going to build their brand in the US, which they really need to do. ZTE is improving the quality of their phones, but their issue is brand recognition and this may be an interesting step towards doing just that.