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Guangdong manufactures off-field winners

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-11-23 09:39

With the opening of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, export-oriented companies based in Guangdong province, an economic powerhouse in South China, have already geared up to fill their shipping containers with goods related to the global soccer event.

At the production lines of Bowker Yee Sing Garment Factory (Heyuan), based in Heyuan, Guangdong, boxes of jerseys have been ready for shipment to Qatar for the past several days.

The company is a processing and trading company that produces sports and leisure clothing, with its products mainly exported to Europe, the United States and Japan.

"Fast customs clearance has made our products more competitive in the international market since we have become a senior certified enterprise of local customs," said Zeng Shisheng, general manager of the company.

According to Zeng, the company has won orders for 678,000 jerseys during the 2022 World Cup.

Local customs have continued to make efforts in clearance, quality inspection and certification to help improve trade efficiency for exporters engaged in sports goods businesses, according to Wu Wenjun, deputy commissioner of Heyuan Customs.

Customs statistics show that Heyuan exported 3.28 million jerseys and 4.65 million pairs of sports shoes, an increase of 15 percent and 12 percent year-on-year, respectively, from January to October, with the total export value of sports goods exceeding 1.2 billion yuan ($170 million).

The soccer tournament in Qatar has boosted the growth of the global sports economy by creating business opportunities for a large number of domestic export-oriented companies, especially those manufacturing products related to the World Cup.

Guangdong Cheche Cultural Development, based in Dongguan, a traditional manufacturing hub in Guangdong, has obtained authorization for global distribution and manufacture of the official mascot of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, including plush toys, hats, three-dimensional crystal key chains, torches and resin lamps.

It took the company eight revisions to win the approval of the organizing committee and FIFA for designing and manufacturing the mascot, La'eeb, an Arabic word meaning a highly skilled soccer player.

"The approval was based on cooperation among industrial players in Dongguan, which has a relatively complete industrial chain ranging from design, 3D modeling and proofing to production," said Chen Leigang, general manager of the company.

According to Chen, all participants during the secondary development phase of mascot-related products are based in Dongguan. "After receiving the graphic design drawing of the mascot from the organizing committee, we started to design and model the shape of the plush toys, and then submit them to factories for 3D printing," he said.

The 3D prints were disassembled and optimized in accordance with the model, before being submitted to another factory for proofing and to make samples in accordance with the plush manufacturing process.

"Winning the approval for manufacturing the soccer event's mascot feels like we secured the rights of organizing the FIFA World Cup," Chen said.

Dongguan-based companies have actually become regular participants of the world's largest sports events. For the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games there were at least 10 enterprises from Dongguan that won business orders from the organizers, covering many fields from badges, footwear and clothing to power supply systems.

According to statistics from the local customs, Dongguan's export of toys increased 20.5 percent year-on-year to reach 29.4 billion yuan in the first three quarters of 2022, with the exports of sports goods and equipment hitting 6.77 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.6 percent.

Nearly 200 categories of products related to the 2022 World Cup are made in Dongguan, displaying the city's strength in manufacturing, according to the local government.

In addition to producing replica trophies of the 2022 World Cup, Dongguan Wagon Giftware also produces the event's souvenirs including decorations of the emblem and a series of keychains.

The company, which has obtained approval of global distribution and manufacturing for official World Cup merchandise for 28 consecutive years, started to take orders to produce the current event's related products in October last year.

It is estimated that the company's sales during the 2022 World Cup will increase significantly, after its sales of more than 50 categories of products generated about 200 million yuan in revenue during the event four years ago, according to the company.




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