What Happened: Chinese sportswear titan Anta Sports could soon surpass its international rival adidas in terms of market valuation. Its annual sales do not come close to adidas’ ($5.5 billion in 2020 vs. $23.5 billion for adidas), but, due to favorable factors, Anta’s share prices increased by 157 percent between 2020 and 2021, putting the company’s market value at $64 billion. By contrast, adidas shares jumped 39 percent for a value of $74.37 billion.
If the so-called “Nike of China” continues to overperform, it will soon overtake adidas to become the world’s second most valuable sports clothing brand.
The Jing Take: HYPEBEAST emphasizes that Chinese consumers’ latest tendency to flock to domestic brands has helped Anta. Meanwhile, global sportswear brands adidas and Nike have found themselves in hot water over their Xinjiang cotton statements. This latest controversy created a strong consumer backlash against Western corporations while improving the brand positioning of Anta. “If you boycott Xinjiang cotton, we’ll boycott you,” one person wrote on Weibo, according to BBC.
Although nationalism has helped Anta find more success in China, we should not underplay the company’s marketing efforts. Adidas’ rival already cashed in on China’s sneaker culture by partnering with KOLs and brand ambassadors like NBA players Klay Thompson, Kevin Garnett, and Luis Scola. These high-profile collaborations have improved the consumer perception of Anta while developing brand equity.
Additionally, Anta became a more dominant player by improving the quality and designs of its products. The brand’s success shows that international athletic brands will soon have a hard time figuring how to stay ahead of local rivals in China. But the Hong- Kong traded brand is not the only success story to come out of China in recent years. Li-Ning and Peak have also been revitalized by associating with NBA players and creating effective branding strategies. Let the games begin.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.