UK sports retailer Sports Direct to adopt Lumia 820

Nokia has announced that UK sports retailer Sports Direct has joined the line of companies moving across to Windows Phone 8 and will be adopting the Lumia 820. We appear to be banging a drum to a repetitious rhythm with these business success stories, but it's not often that we're able to shout out about big name companies joining the platform, and it's rare that Nokia has managed to bundle all its partnership deals into one month so far.

Sports Direct will be deploying the Lumia 820 to its regional managers to help ensure high rates of efficiency. The company has approximately 18,000 employees across the UK alone, and its operations are divided into regions with managers heading up teams for each region. Said personnel rely on stable connections for communication to take place.

This isn't Sports Direct moving to Windows Phone as a whole, though. The company has been using Lumia Windows Phones since they were announced back in 2011, taking on the Lumia 800 and 710 smartphones. Jay Lyford, IT Manager at Sports Direct had the following to comment on the move to the Lumia 820:

"Over the past year or so, we’ve been pressed by the need for managers to be more connected on the go. We needed to make sure they had the right devices, enabling managers to take pictures of stock and check, receive and send email on the road. We have been using Nokia’s Lumia range of smartphones since they first launched in October 2011 as we were keen to get a foothold with the Windows Phone operating system. We are a Microsoft house through and through and Nokia’s Lumia devices are perfectly suited to our needs."

Main features in Windows Phone 8, which captured the interest of the technology team include OTA backup of texts and the Company Hub. Lyford continues to expand on the benefits of Windows Phone 8 that fit the bill for the company:

"Company Hub allows us to push vital apps, company updates and important communications to users’ devices. Quite simply the Nokia Lumia 820, working with the rest of our Microsoft environment, makes communication across the estate simple and delivers a great end-user experience."

But it's not only the features of Windows Phone that keeps the Sports Direct team with Microsoft's mobile platform. There was also the consideration on initial cost and maintenance for smartphones to be deployed. Lyford talk about how the company moved away from a competitor platform to achieve yearly savings:

"Moving away from BlackBerry meant we could give smartphones to more people because there were no more monthly licence fees to pay, or any increased monthly subscriptions. With yearly savings of approximately £14,400, we are now able to drastically increase the number of email-capable phones in use."

It's interesting to see such a well-known company in the UK continue to advance on Windows Phone and adopt the latest hardware. The Lumia 820 sports some impressive features for a mid-range smartphone, and on the latest version of Windows Phone, it's easy to see why it was deemed the perfect candidate to meet requirements of the company.


Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.