SBD/March 5, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Li-Ning Debuts "Way Of Wade" Campaign To Change U.S. Perception Of Brand

Li-Ning in the last two weeks has “begun the rollout of the initial phase of its ‘Way of Wade’ campaign” featuring Heat G Dwyane Wade, according to Abe Sauer of Li-Ning Brand Initiatives Dir Brian Cupps said that “this portion of Li-Ning's strategy is to recast the brand to American consumers through Wade's personal messaging and involvement.” Cupps adds the goal is to "Answer the question: why Li-Ning?” Sauer noted the initial spot “showing Wade's hands-on involvement, along with changing his nickname and launching the site accomplishes this.” Li-Ning's next job is “to get the products on shelves.” Cupps said consumers in the next 30-45 days "will start seeing products available at as well as targeted retailers in New York and Miami." He added a "second signature product and full scale integrated launch" will come in Q4. Meanwhile, Cupps said of Wade, “He's resonated with the Chinese consumers.” Wade has “visited before and played last year” in two Heat exhibition games. Chinese media recently has “latched on to a rumor that Wade has ‘promised' to play in China after his NBA career.” Wade also will “make another trip to China in July for Li-Ning.” Cupps said that Li-Ning is “working on translating that visit into messaging that will interest U.S. consumers, which might mean a streaming event to highlight the magnitude of the brand.” But despite all of the progress Wade will make “bringing Li-Ning to the U.S., there remains the challenge of being a Chinese brand” (, 3/4).
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