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China's Olympic athletes will be stylish
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-29 07:38

When China's men's and women's basketball teams take the court against Spain at next month's Olympic Games, the biggest winner could be the uniform sponsor for both nation's teams - Li-Ning Sports Goods Co. Ltd.

On Tuesday China's largest sportswear producer signed with the Chinese Olympic Committee to outfit the Athens-bound athletes with uniforms and shoes for the medal podium.

Li-Ning also sponsors the national gymnastics, diving, table tennis and shooting teams, which combined for 16 of the 28 gold medals China won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

The specially-designed wear is called Splendid China and the shoes Aurora.

This marks the fourth time the company, named after China's former gymnastics great Li Ning, has sponsored the Chinese Olympic delegation with podium wear.

Internationally, the company also outfits the Spanish national men's and women's basketball teams and the French gymnastics team.

The total sponsorship for the Chinese delegation for Athens is over 10 million yuan (US$850,000), according to Zhang Zhiyong, executive director and general manager of Beijing Li-Ning Sports Good Co. Ltd.

In 1992 the company became the first domestic sporting goods company to finance the Chinese Olympic delegation.

"Though we are now targeting the international market, our priority is still in China since we are a Chinese company," said Zhang.

"But sponsoring the Spanish teams is also part of our company's overseas project called Sports Internationalization. We also have Brand Internationalization and revenue Internationalization."

Established only 14 years ago, Li-Ning takes up over 50 per cent of sportswear sales in China.

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