xi's moments
Home | Industries

Snowboarding glides into Gen Z mind space this winter

Sales on e-commerce platforms surge to 350 million yuan in 2023

By WANG ZHUOQIONG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-19 08:18

People walk past a snowboarding products brand Nobaday store at Chaoyang Joy City in Beijing on Oct 5. [CHINA DAILY]

Snowboarding, once a niche winter sport, has gained traction among Gen Z consumers in China, fueling business growth for Beijing-based Nobaday.

The company, which since incubation in 2015 had focused on snowboarding products such as boards, boots, bindings and protective gear, has since evolved into a year-round outdoor sportswear and equipment maker.

Sales of snowboards on mainstream e-commerce platforms in China surged to 350 million yuan ($48.7 million) in 2023, up 47.7 percent year-on-year, according to Mojing Market Intelligence.

During the first two months of the recent snow season — between Oct and Dec 2023 — monthly sales revenue skyrocketed by 179.2 percent to 125 million yuan.

The rising popularity of winter sports has prompted a younger generation of snowboarders to rush to the slopes, pushing up sales of both international and domestic brands such as Burton and Nobaday.

There has been a notable trend in the market lately with entry-level and advanced-level products garnering the most attention, said Liu Fengxi, the company's founder and CEO.

Nobaday's entry-level product "The little black board" experienced growth of 200 to 300 percent this snow season compared to last year, thanks to new people taking to snowboarding and price-sensitive existing customers seeking more affordable products, he said.

This product makes up about 10 percent of the company's sales, while its advanced products have also sold well among highly skilled skiers, he said.

Compared with an average price of 3,000-4,000 yuan for foreign brands, products of a similar performance level by domestic brands are priced at about 1,500 yuan.

"Offering products directly to consumers has enabled us to maintain competitive pricing compared to international brands, which are sold through wholesalers," he said.

In addition to its product innovation and pricing strategy, Nobaday has prioritized brand awareness through strategic collaborations and marketing initiatives.

The company has signed contracts with professional athletes, such as skiing world champion Max Parrot.

Despite the challenges posed by offline retail, Nobaday has expanded its retail network to 11 stores.

"We've continued to focus on providing in-store experiences for our customers," said Liu. "We are planning to release new products in collaboration with more partners from the industry."

Going forward, the brand plans to introduce new products by teaming up with the British Museum to roll out snowboards featuring famous artworks.

Nobaday's online business has surged higher than the industry level, to post 40 to 50 percent growth in revenue from November to January.

"The online field is even more fierce in competitions, with more than 200 domestic ski brands," Liu said.

Consumers' behavior is also evolving, with more cautious spending and a preference for cost-saving measures, he added.

"Consumers are more picky nowadays," he said. "They are taking longer to decide. They are still going to ski but visibly spending less."

For example, some skiers are opting for nearby rental accommodation over traditional ski resorts.

Despite these shifts, Nobaday remains committed to meeting the evolving needs of its customers and staying positive about the long-term prospects of the winter sports industry in China, Liu said.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349