Business / Industries

Podium position for sporting goods

By Krishna Kumar Vr in New Delhi For China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-28 06:35

Li Ning's igniting of the cauldron at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony can be viewed as a symbolic beginning of the growth of the sports goods industry in China.

Podium position for sporting goods
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Podium position for sporting goods
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Li, 51, known to millions of Chinese as the "Prince of Gymnastics", is now the chairman of a billion-dollar Chinese sporting goods firm, Li Ning Co Ltd, which he established after retiring from the sport in 1990.

After the Olympics, the company was the first major Chinese sports brand to begin making inroads into the United States. It invested $10 million in 2010 with the goal of reaching US sales of $50 million.

Li Ning opened a Portland, Oregon, showroom and signed endorsement deals with basketball players Shaquille O'Neal and Evan Turner with an eye to increasing sales through celebrity association. Also anticipating a post-Olympic boost was Adidas. The global sportswear brand said it expected double-digit growth in apparel, footwear and accessories in China in the years following the event, with basketball taking the lead.

This was despite the fact that the Beijing Olympics coincided with the beginning of the slowdown in the global economy.

For the five years to 2014, revenue for the sporting goods wholesale industry in China grew by 6.5 percent annually to an estimated $35.7 billion, according to IBISWorld, a market research organization based in Melbourne.

"In the past five years, the main factors driving industry performance have been higher consumption in China, large sporting events hosted by China, such as the Olympic Games, and the country's active involvement in international trade within the World Trade Organization framework," it says.

Podium position for sporting goods Podium position for sporting goods

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