Li Ning Lights Olympic Flame (Under Adidas)

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The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was pretty impressive by any standards (even if some bad habits were picked up from UK and other TV tricksters). But the stand-out (business) moment for us was the lighting of the flame by Li Ning.

For the uninitiated, Li Ning is a) a former Chinese Olympic champion and b) the major Chinese sports wear brand (that he set up). For the record, Li Ning was not a sponsor of the Olympics. So one or two companies that did stump up the sponsorship dollars might be a bit put out at this awesome piece of state-sponsored guerrilla marketing. One in particular springs to mind…Li Ning’s direct competitor, Adidas!

And this is not the first time Li Ning has made Adidas sit up and take notice, as Innovatize reminded us recently, in the wonderfully entitled post “Impossible is Nothing Possible for Anyone or Anything Possible to…”:

    …Not sure where you stand on slogans…but here is some funny news from China (courtesy of the Brit boys over at Access Asia)…Addidas, a strong market player, and Li Ning, the leading local player, appear to have similar yet different thoughts for slogans:

    …Addidas’s slogan is “Impossible is Nothing”…Li Ning’s slogan is “Anything is Possible”

Or, as the saying in China business circles usually goes, “nothing is easy, but anything is possible”.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg report that:

    “Adidas AG, the outfitter of China and 15 other teams at the Beijing Olympic Games, forecasts sales in the world’s most populous nation will top 1 billion euros ($1.55 billion) in two years.

    The company, which last month opened its largest global store in Beijing’s premier dining district, is the biggest sportswear brand in China and counts the country as its second- biggest sales market after the U.S., said Chairman Herbert Hainer.

    “Sports goods will become more popular as the Chinese people become more health conscious,” Hainer said today at a press briefing in Beijing. The company’s involvement in the Olympics “helps the long-term perception of the brand and creates brand loyalty,” he added.

    …Adidas may open 6,300 stores in China by the end of 2010, compared with 5,000 at the end of 2008 and 4,000 in 2007, its China retail vice president Frederic Seiller said. The company competes in China for market share with larger rival Nike Inc. and local retailer Li Ning Co.”

And the competition just got very hot. Owch!

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One Response to “Li Ning Lights Olympic Flame (Under Adidas)”

  1. Recent Links Tagged With "forecasts" - JabberTags Says:

    […] on Sat 23-5-2009 The Value Of Charts To A Company Explained Saved by davelewis on Mon 11-5-2009 Li Ning Lights Olympic Flame (Under Adidas) Saved by blepoxp on Sun 10-5-2009 Credit Card Companies Get Wealthy Off of Your Bad Habits Saved […]

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