Sonos has announced its first ever sports partnership with Liverpool FC in a bid to raise the experience of viewing live football to a new level.
The deal, which sees the audio equipment specialist developing ‘immersive sound experiences within the stadium’ in internal lounges and player areas and the Axa Training Centre, aims to better connect fans with live matches.
The multi-year deal will have the Sonos brand present in audio and video form, with remote watching spaces that are designed to recreate Anfield’s ‘unique energy’, and visual branding on the stadium’s LED screens from August 21.
Pete Pedersen is Sonos’s vice-president of marketing. He says that the partnership is based in part on Liverpool’s reputation as a city of impeccable musical heritage. “Sound has always been an essential part of sports – it breathes energy into every game, whether it’s the music players listen to while getting hyped for a match, the vibrating chants from fans in the stands, or recreating a stadium experience at home. The atmosphere at Anfield, in particular, is electric – from the club’s iconic anthem to the fans, who have been voted noisiest within the Premier League.
“Liverpool is also a city famously steeped in music – we wanted to embrace that heritage and connection. And with millions of Reds globally, Liverpool FC’s sound sits well outside the walls of its stadium – reverberating through countless towns and cities, and creating a sense of community over shared moments of celebration, loss or encouragement to keep fighting.”
From Sonos’s point of view, the partnership is also an effort to expand the brand’s reputation beyond simply music. Pedersen notes that the environment of live sport is especially conducive to demonstrating the capability of audio equipment, so it makes sense for Sonos to have expanded its marketing in this way.
It’s a view that is supported by Matt Scammell, commercial director at Liverpool Football Club. “Sound is what makes Anfield such a special place – when our supporters get behind the team, the 12th man creates game-changing sound, something we can’t wait to hear again this season. We’re really looking forward to working with Sonos to connect our supporters around the world to the sound of Anfield.”
From a sector perspective, Pedersen argues that there is significant headroom for Sonos as both a luxury brand and as a supplier of audio equipment for consumers.
He cites research from the GFK Report 2021 to support Sonos’s belief that the broadening of consumer use cases for audio allows the brand to scale up. “The most recent data in the UK shows the home theater market is growing at over 35% in value, and speakers over 10%, which tells us that consumers are actively seeking ways to improve their sound experience.
“Couple that with a surge in the variety of audio content people consume such as podcasts and audiobooks, along with a trend in TV boxsets and movies being released direct to your home, we have a perfect opportunity to serve those consumers in a way they can enjoy that content in their homes, outdoors or on the move.”
As its first ever sports partnership, Sonos’s tie-up with LFC is both a bet on live sport returning and the increasing desire among audiences for high-end audio. Pedersen notes that beyond the initial audio and video branding, Sonos has more planned in the near-future for the partnership – all of which is predicated on the belief that audiences are hungry for more (and better quality) audio.