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Make The Change
|Private Limited Company|
|Industry||Sportswear and Sports Equipment|
|Li Ning, Founder and Chairman, Terence Tsang, Chief Financial Officer|
|Products||Athletic shoes, apparel, sports equipment, accessories|
|Revenue||US$1.11 billion (FY 2012)|
|US$318.8 million (FY 2012)|
The company was founded in 1990 by Li Ning, a former Chinese Olympic gymnast. As of 2007, Li Ning remains the chairman of the company's board of directors.
In 2005, Li-Ning created a joint-venture with French sports apparel company, AIGLE, giving Li-Ning the exclusive rights to be the distributor of AIGLE's products in China for 50 years.
In 2006, Li-Ning posted revenues of US$418 million, and total profits of about US$39 million. As of March 2007, there were 4,297 Li-Ning retail stores. The company directly owns some of the retail stores while others are franchised.
In January 2010, Li-Ning opened its U.S. headquarters and flagship store in Portland, Oregon.
In 2010, Li-Ning released a new logo and a new slogan as part of the 'Revitalization' of the Sports brand.
The official slogan of the company is "让改变发生" "Ràng Gǎibiàn Fāshēng" in Chinese, translated to "Make The Change" in English.
In January 2011, Li-Ning entered into a partnership with Chicago-based Acquity Group to expand its U.S. distribution and brand awareness.
In April 2012, Li-Ning was awarded the highest distinction of "Outstanding Contribution to Quality Standardization Award" at the 3rd National Textile Standardization Technical Committee - Knitwear division's inaugural meeting held in Zhuhai, Guangdong.
In September 2012, Li-Ning signed into a partnership with NBA player Dwyane Wade.
In 2013, The Group recorded revenue of RMB2,906 million, which represents a decrease of 24.6% year-on-year, due to near-term focus on sell-in reductions, inventory clearance as well as store rationalization
ProductLi-Ning produces shoes and sportswear, largely for the Chinese market. The company has seen explosive growth in shoe sales in the past several years. Li-Ning's major shoe lines include the "Flying Armor" series of basketball shoes and "Flying Feather" running shoes. According to the company's web site, their hallmark product is the "Li-Ning Bow."
The company also has a smaller sports marketing and branding operation.
In March 2006, The Li-Ning 001 Limited Edition shoe was available. This is the first time a Chinese sports brand made a limited edition sneaker for sale.
MarketingAlthough Li-Ning's logo is very similar to Nike's Swoosh, its logo design is based on its own initial letters L and N.
The company has aggressively used sponsorship deals, particularly with athletes and sports teams, both in China and abroad, to raise its profile.
In 2006 the company signed "strategic collaborations" with the National Basketball Association, the Association of Tennis Professionals, the Chinese University Basketball Association and the Chinese Football Association. It also signed sponsorship deals with the Chinese national teams and the Sudan track and field team. The company will also provide apparel for the Argentina national basketball team at international events including the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. A similar deal was made with the Swedish Olympic Committee.
Since at least 2004, both the Spanish men's and women's national basketball teams have been equipped by Li-Ning.
2008 Beijing OlympicsLi-Ning aggressively sought sponsorship opportunities related to the 2008 Summer Olympics being held in Beijing, China. The company arranged to outfit every presenter for broadcaster CCTV-5.
In a now famous case of guerilla marketing, when entire countries were tuned into the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony and worldwide millions more saw Li Ning light the torch they also learned that he owns a shoe company with the same name, but is not an official Olympic sponsor. Li-Ning also sponsored several Chinese sporting teams, as well as the Spanish and Swedish Olympics teams. The company's share price also increased by over 3% on the first day of trading after the opening ceremony.
National Basketball AssociationLi-Ning was an official marketing partner of the National Basketball Association and has/had sponsorship deals with nine players: Baron Davis (currently out of the league), Shaquille O'Neal (retired), Damon Jones (currently out of the league), José Calderón of the New York Knicks, Cleanthony Early of the New York Knicks, Glenn Robinson III of the Philadelphia 76ers, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, Evan Turner of the Boston Celtics, and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat
In 2006, O'Neal signed a four-year deal with Li-Ning, reportedly worth US$1.25 million, the largest deal made by the company, and the highest profile signing of an American sports star by a Chinese company. O'Neal cited former teammate Damon Jones and the Spanish national basketball team's deal with Li-Ning as influences on his decision to sign with Li-Ning.
In 2012, Dwyane Wade left the Jordan Brand for Li-Ning.