Hero of the Los Angeles Olympics 1984. Hero of mine. Li Ning is one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Now age-44, he is chairman as well as head of business development for his own line of sporting goods in China.
The Gym Chat forum pointed me to a business post on Yahoo Finance:
Don’t Know Li-Ning? Ask Shaq
By Dexter Roberts
Not many people outside of China have heard of Li-Ning, but in the country’s fast-growing sportswear market, the Beijng company is proving a serious competitor for the likes of giants Nike and Adidas.
While those two behemoths still dominate among Chinese consumers, Li-Ning is in third place, with market share just below the roughly 17% to 18% that Nike and Adidas have. …
Teaming With NBA Stars
No doubt one reason for that good rating on “ambassadorship” is Li-Ning’s successful marketing and branding efforts, mainly focused on sports sponsorship. Li-Ning spends about 17% of revenues on marketing annually, more than most Chinese companies. National Basketball Assn.’s Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal is the brand’s top star, after having signed a five-year agreement in August, 2006.
While Li-Ning shoes aren’t available in the U.S., the company figures that an alliance with Shaq helps to lure the growing number of NBA fans in China who follow the league. …
Riding the Wave of the Beijing Olympics
… The company is sponsoring the medal-winning Chinese table tennis, diving, gymnastics, and shooting teams. And on June 7, 2007, Li-Ning and the Spanish government announced the company would be the official sportswear provider for the Spanish Olympic delegation at next year’s games.
The year-long run up to the world’s biggest sporting event clearly is key for Li-Ning. The company plans to add 700 new retail outlets in 2007 to its existing 4,300, and by the opening of the Olympics next August Li-Ning will have 5,600 outlets spread across the mainland.
Check out his double double mount on Floor at Worlds 1983 !! (Floors were very, very hard back then.)
Click PLAY or watch Li Ning on YouTube.