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Anta to outfit Olympic delegation

Updated: 2012-05-31 14:37
By Huang Ying (

Anta Sports Products Ltd, one of China's leading sportswear companies, as the Chinese Olympic Committee's strategic partner, will exclusively sponsor its sportswear this year, according to a strategic agreement reached in 2009.

Anta announced its Olympics marketing campaign during the upcoming London Olympics in partnership with the COC and the International Olympic Committee. In addition, the athletes' apparel maker also announced that its tailor-made winning outfit for the Chinese Sports Delegation of the London Olympics has been named the Champion Dragon Outfit.

According to the terms of the agreement, Anta was authorized to sponsor the delegation's champion sportswear at 11 important international sports events, including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and the 2012 London Olympics.

Sponsoring the COC is an expensive and high-risk investment but the returns will also be huge if the operation is successful, said experts. Although Anta Sports has been granted the exclusive sponsorship and the rights to carry out marketing campaigns, it is hard for Anta to overtake Li Ning in brand influence in a short time, industry insiders said.

Anta expected that the cost of sports marketing in 2012 will increase 14 percent, bringing the total number to more than 1.2 billion yuan, based on the company's revenue of 8.9 billion yuan last year.

Although both Anta and COC declined to disclose the amount of sponsorship, a series of market analyses based on previous statistics indicate that Anta injected at least 600 million yuan into the package sponsorship, according to the newspaper China Business News.

"What top sports events and sports resources brought us is not only direct book income: Their core value comes from promoting brand reputation and striking a chord associated with brand among consumers. It is very valuable for brand repositioning, which is what we need desperately at present," Zhang Tao, vice-president of Anta Sports told China Business News.

"The 2012 London Olympics is an opportunity as well as a challenge for us," said Ding Shizhong, chairman and chief executive officer of Anta Sports.

Investment in Olympics marketing is probably a one-off for enterprises but its effect and brand-penetration influence will last in the long run, which makes it worthwhile despite the consistent rising cost of sponsorship, an analyst focused on sports marketing was quoted as saying by China Business News.

"A more realistic problem facing enterprises is that this expensive opportunity will be taken by others if you don't scramble for it. Therefore, any company with enough strength will bid for it," the analyst said.