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SBD Global/December 6, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
Li-Ning's Exclusive Shoe Deal With Chinese Basketball Association Draws Players' Ire
Published December 6, 2012
STIFF COMPETITION: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Fiona Law reported Li-Ning has “struggled in the face of competition from foreign rivals such as Nike and adidas, as well as lower-cost local brands.” The company’s shares have “tumbled 86% in Hong Kong from their peak in '10, and are down more than a third since January.” Li-Ning CEO Jin-Goon Kim said, “Five years ago, sportswear brands in China were wholesalers, not retailers. The focus was on growth, as opposed to merchandising and brand DNA and understanding customers. Chinese retailers need to be more focused on brand. Before, you had to be good at opening stores and taking care of channels. Now, it's a different game.” Kim added the company's endorsement deal with NBA Miami Heat G Dwyane Wade "speaks to the most important sports segment for China's younger generation” (WSJ, 12/2).