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TCL TVs Go Prime Time

TCL North America, the Irvine-based domestic division of the Hong Kong consumer electronics company TCL, is starting the second year of its long-term deal with the National Football League. The maker of smart TVs, sound bars, phones and other products became the NFL’s official TV partner in the first month of 2023.

TCL said it gained a new marketing platform from the partnership and has gathered more eyes on its content through the association with the sports league.

The electronics maker reported that domestic sales of its largest television screen, the 98” which has been the main product marketed via the NFL campaign, increased sevenfold year-over-year in 2023 and exceeded the firm’s original goals for the year.

Senior Vice President Chris Hamdorf noted that TCL had cycled through a variety of smaller sports partnerships in the past, such as basketball and hockey teams, and that the NFL will enable the company to have the national reach it had been missing.

“There are 184 million NFL fans in the United States, so we’re unlocking a large market,” Hamdorf told the Business Journal. “We have opportunities to gain new consumers the entire year.”

Giveaways

TCL kicked off the partnership at a 2023 NFL draft event and saw high engagement on its social media pages from filming interviews and interactions with various football players.
“One of our most followed posts came out of that event,” Hamdorf said.

TCL has since added Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert as a brand ambassador, and is also the TV partner for the Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. The company plans to add more teams and players as partners in 2024 and after.

Its most successful NFL campaign has been its weekly sweepstakes during every Thursday night football game. TCL offers $50,000 worth of its 98” televisions if a specific scenario is met during the game.

It has given away $100,000 worth of big screen TVs since the beginning of the current season, plus $1 million in sweepstakes. The 98” screens, which are TCL’s most recent expansion in product and screen size, range in price from $6,000 to $12,000.

The success of the sweepstakes led the company to raise the giveaway to $1 million during the NFL’s first-ever Black Friday game. The promotion was paid off for consumers when Miami Dolphins safety Jevon Holland recorded a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown before halftime.

“The deeper we go in this investment, the better our return-on-investment will be,” Hamdorf said.

More Screens

TCL’s primary objective for the next several years of the partnership is to sell the company’s premium TVs.

“We had the product, but we needed more consumer awareness,” Hamdorf said.
Its marketing strategy of the 98” screen size and the giveaways have created a “halo effect” for the rest of TCL’s offerings, according to Hamdorf.

“The $500 TV looks just as good to the consumer as the $6,000 TV,” he added.
The executive said that TCL, which competes with Irvine’s Vizio in the TV and sound bar markets, has become one of the top two electronics brands in the U.S. by unit sales since establishing its U.S. hub in 2010. TCL TVs are sold in more than 7,000 national and regional retailers in the U.S. and it plans to expand this footprint through new electronic products.

“We’re covering more screens and price points than we have before as of this year,” he added.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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