Carrickfergus-based Sugarcube has recently won a contract with SiemensMobile to produce a mobile phone text marketing promotion for the Cricket World Cup, currently being held in South Africa.

Sugarcube, an Invest Northern Ireland client company, specialising in
Wireless marketing (SMS) solutions, has developed the Guess’n’Win competition for Siemens, one of the main sponsors of the 2003 World Cup. The text competition uses audio and graphics and is being run via the Fox Sports Satellite TV Network across the Middle East.

Up to 17 million subscribers throughout the region, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Jordan and the UAE, are being invited to guess the World Cup finalists, and eventual winner, to win the latest Siemens mobile handsets. Over 150 direct response TV commercials are being transmitted, with viewers asked to text a reply. Sugarcube will be managing the full technical implementation from Northern Ireland.

Errol Maxwell, Sugarcube’s Managing Director, said the company was initially contacted by Siemens Mobile after they saw a press release on the Invest NI website about the Carrick technology firm’s exports to the Middle East. The company secured a text marketing contract from Nokia last year to promote its latest handset.

“Our marketing effort in the Gulf has benefited enormously from the knowledge and contacts of the Invest NI team there.

“We are a new media company with expertise in short messaging technology for mobile telephony that is increasingly attracting major telecommunications companies, particularly in the Arabian Gulf and South East Asia where mobile phone usage is very strongly,” he added.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, said: “Sugarcube is prospering in the Emirates as a result of a decision by management to focus significant resources on this region and to develop its knowledge and experience there by working closely with the Invest NI team in Dubai.

“This company has developed an expertise in a growing niche market and is seeking to exploit this quickly by means of the broad range of capability development services that are available from Invest NI.”

Sugarcube provides SMS text based marketing services to clients via some of the world’s leading advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and Grey Worldwide.

The Carrickfergus company, set up by Mr Maxwell in 1999, currently employs seven people full time. The Middle East market was recently opened up as the result of winning a sizeable contract to provide duel language text messaging technology for Nokia to run the ‘Nokia Race’ in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Oman.

The company has recently supplied text promotion services clients such as Nokia, Virgin and British American Tobacco in 10 countries throughout the Middle East.