Wearable Tech World Feature Article
May 14, 2014

Samsung Turns to the World Cup to Score On Apple

Soccer is a sport that's commonly regarded as being a global. While it never really got much of a following in the United States—at least not on the same level as football or baseball—in much of the world, it's the biggest thing going. So it may not come as a surprise to many that Samsung took advantage of soccer to present its hardware in the best light.

It started back in November, when Samsung rolled out a campaign called “Galaxy 11,” which brought together 11 of the biggest names in soccer the world over and put said names through a rigorous training regimen in a bid to prepare for a soccer match against a collection of alien invaders. Names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas made an appearance, as did a coterie of Samsung devices from the Samsung Galaxy S5 to the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2, all playing a role in the training of these soccer superstars now in the fight of a lifetime: a battle for the fate of Earth itself.

While there were some who thought the advertising kitschy beyond belief, like some kind of toy line run amok, there was also no denying Samsung's success on two critical points: one, the advertising was eye-catching in the extreme. The effects were sharp, the names recognizable throughout much of the world, and the continuous storyline worth paying attention to. Two, Samsung even augmented the experience by bringing in the users, offering up four different games, three of which--”Galaxy S5: Cannon Shooter,” “Soccer Wars,” and “Shooting Soccer”--were available only on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Meanwhile, “The Match: Striker Soccer Galaxy 11”, was available for all Android users with a quick trip to Google Play.

It's still easy to call it all over the top, but it's also made an important distinction in a lot of minds: Samsung is the sportsman's mobile platform. From the World Cup to the Winter Olympics—which Samsung also had a major hand in to the point where it was reportedly requiring other mobile devices be covered up on camera so as not to distract from Samsung—Samsung's big presence is in sports, and global sports at that. Android is big on the global stage, so the two intersect rather nicely.

Sports technology in general, meanwhile, isn't just a Samsung proposition. There are plenty of figures in the field, all vying for the right to be that front-of-mind figure that comes up when it's time to make purchases. This will be quite evident at the FAST Expo, set to arrive July 22 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Exhibitors of all sorts will be on hand to show off the biggest and best in sports technology, with a particular focus on wearable technology, similar to the kind shown in Samsung's Galaxy 11 advertising series.

While, again, it's easy to laugh at this for going to ludicrous lengths, it's possible that such lengths won't be considered ludicrous elsewhere. The Winter Olympics, the World Cup...these contain the heroes of the broadest market. For Samsung to associate itself with such gives it something special in the field, and makes it come up in the same breath. This may be just the marketing edge Samsung needed to stay in the front of the Android line for good, or at least the front of Android sports technology.

Want to learn more about the latest in wearable technology? Be sure to attend Wearable Tech Expo, July 23 & 24 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.  Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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