China Daily: “The record number of Olympic teams clad in clothes bearing Chinese innovations brings a “made-in-China” to “created-in-China” paradigm shift to the London Games. Erik Nilsson, Wu Ying, Cecily Liu, Wang Zhenghua and Tiffany Tan report.
While much ado has been made about the fact that Team USA‘s uniforms for the London Olympics are made in China, less attention has been given to the record number of foreign teams’ uniforms not only manufactured, but also designed, by domestic companies.
Leading the pack is home-grown label Peak, which sponsors seven countries that will participate in 20 events in London, a major backer at the Games after Nike and Adidas. Because the design process takes months – it may take up to a year until manufacturing is complete – Peak had to turn away 10 countries that approached it for the 2012 Games.
Next up is Li-Ning, named after and founded by the Chinese Olympic champion, which sponsors teams from eight countries and more than 600 individual athletes from 17 countries across the five continents – one for every Olympic ring.
Other companies with foreign clients include Adivon, Qiaodan, Erke, 361 and Xtep. A far greater number of domestic companies manufacture uniforms, apparel and merchandise developed at home and abroad.
“The phenomenon indicates domestic sportswear companies are rapidly growing and earning a say on the international stage,” says Jian Jie, senior sponsorship products manager of Li-Ning’s sports resources products department.
“It also shows that brand influence becomes increasingly important in the sportswear field and ‘made in China’ is gradually transforming to ‘created in China’. The alliance between a domestic brand and an international brand can internationalize Chinese brands and generate greater access to the partner’s market.
“The alliance during the Olympics can also increase the exposure of the domestic brand, promote its brand value and further its recognition at home and abroad. Through cooperation with the foreign brands, domestic brands can also improve.”"
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