Business / Companies

Chinese brands catch Rio Olympic fever

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-01 07:48

Chinese brands catch Rio Olympic fever

A woman walks past a model in 361 Degrees' stall in a super-market in Jinjiang, Fujian province. 361 Degrees International Limited has become an official supplier of clothing to the Rio 2016 volunteers, technicians and people who participate in the Olympics torch relay. HE YUAN/CHINA DAILY

Chinese sports brands will likely ride the Rio 2016 wave to recovery as big-ticket sponsorship and marketing deals have come their way.

For instance, domestic sports brand 361 Degrees International Limited has bagged an exclusive deal to supply official clothing to all the Rio 2016 volunteers, technicians and people who participate in the Olympics torch relay.

This deal has made 361 Degrees the first Chinese sports brand to sponsor summer Olympics as well as Paralympic Games.

The firm's designer apparel comes in four colors: green, yellow, blue and red, representing the colors of the Rio 2016 logo.

To become an official partner to Olympics, suppliers need to meet the most stringent requirements in terms of product quality and supply systems, according to 361 Degrees.

The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee spent one year to implement strict assessment of the company's production conditions and sustainable development standards before it signed the agreement.

"The recognition has motivated us to strive for higher standards. We will demonstrate Chinese sports products and brands to Brazil and sports enthusiasts and share our passion (for sports) with the world," said Ding Wuhao, president and executive director of 361 Degrees.

The design and production of Olympics uniforms are a result of more than two years of research and development, according to the company.

At the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, 361 Degrees will receive rights to initiate marketing and promotional activities with other sponsors. Again, this makes it China's first brand to take on such a role.

In addition, 361 Degrees will sponsor the Chinese national swimming and cycling teams, including athletes such as Sun Yang, Ning Zetao, Ye Shi Wen. Besides, delegates from Greece and South Africa, and the Chinese paralympic contingent, will be wearing its products.

Like 361 Degrees, other domestic sportswear makers such as Anta Sports Products Limited stand to benefit from Rio 2016.

As a partner of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Anta Sports designed Champion Dragon Outfit and unveiled it in June. It will be worn by the Chinese Sports Delegation at Rio 2016. In addition, medal-winning Chinese athletes will wear Anta's sportswear at Rio award ceremonies.

Its outfits will be also worn in Rio by ten Chinese teams participating in gymnastics, trampolining, weightlifting, wrestling, judo, boxing, taekwondo, rowing, canoeing and water polo.

Ding Shizhong, chairman and CEO of Anta Sports, said, "Just as we did at the London Olympics in 2012, we will work together with the COC to give our national teams a big boost in Rio.

"Through different marketing campaigns in China, we provide opportunities for the general public as well to experience the culture and spirit of the Olympic Games."

Peak International is another Chinese sportswear firm excited over Rio 2016. It has sponsored apparel and shoes for athletes from more than 10 countries.

Liu Xiang, marketing director of Peak, said the brand will start selling an Olympic series of sports products later this year. Stores in markets where Peak has sponsored the local Olympic committees and basketball teams, will sell its products. Overseas markets have contributed 670 million yuan or around 22 percent of its revenue last year.

Most of the manufacturers of sports shoes in China are based in Fujian. Pan Hongyuan, secretary-general of the Fujian Shoes Association, said the scale of their investment in Rio 2016 was on par with London 2012.

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