Li-Ning Company Limited, one of China’s leading local sportswear marketers, was founded in 1990 by a former Chinese Olympic gymnast Li Ning. The company makes athletic shoes and sporting goods largely for the Chinese market. The company’s major shoe lines include the Flying Armor series of basketball shoes and Flying Feather running shoes.
In March 2006, the company introduced the Li-Ning 001 Limited Edition shoe, marking the first time a Chinese sports brand made a limited edition sneaker for sale.
To diversify product lines and strengthen market shares, the company adopted a multi-brand business strategy. In addition to its core brand Li-Ning, the company also comprises Double Happiness, AIGLE (mainland China) and Danskin (mainland China).
In 2005, Li-Ning acquired the exclusive right to be the sole distributor of the French sports apparel company, Aigle products in China for 50 years. By now, the company has 6169 mono-brand stores and many other sales corners in multi-brand stores. In 2016, the company’s revenue reached RMB 3596 million, approximately 545 million US dollars.
In January 2010, Li-Ning opened its US flagship store in Portland, Oregon and set its US headquarters there. At the same year, the company released a new logo and the new slogan “让改变发生” in Chinese, translated as “let the change occur.” To strengthen Li-Ning’s brand awareness and expand the distribution network in the US, the company built a business partnership with Chicago-based company, Acquity Group business.
The company has sponsored many athletes and sports teams, both in China and abroad, to raise its profile. It has successfully provided podium gears for the Chinese Olympic delegation team for four consecutive years and equipped China National teams of Diving, Shooting, Ping-Pong and Badminton over a very long period. The company also holds contracts with many athletes such as Dwyane Wade, Peng Shui, Marin Cilic, Sun Yue, and Guo Ailun.
This article was originally written for FashionUnited.cn. Edited by Justine Browning