Last week, premium athletic brand Descente orchestrated a spectacular press event at the General's Mountain Ski Resort in Xinjiang's Altay region – the origin of human skiing. The label announced its partnership with the Chinese National U-shaped Snowboard Team and the Chinese National Alpine Ski Team, unveiling the equipment tailored for the national teams at the event.
Along with the collaboration, Descente dropped a dedicated National Team-inspired collection on November 17, available at designated stores nationwide, the brand's WeChat Mini Program, and its Tmall flagship store. Meanwhile, boutique coffee brand Arabica has set up shop in Descente's General's Mountain store in Altay. Adventurers are invited to savor coffee at the foot of the snowy mountains, elevating their skiing experience.
Descente livestreamed the event across via all its official brand channels, including Weibo and WeChat, attracting an online audience of over 13 million viewers.
Thanks to the presence of brand ambassador actor and singer William Chan, the campaign hashtag “Originating from Skiing” has earned over 25.4 million views, as of publication. A video and images of Chan skiing went viral on social media like Weibo and Xiaohongshu.
Founded in 1935, Descente boasts an 88-year brand history. Evolving from its roots in skiing, the brand has expanded to golf, cycling, running, cross-training and female fitness. Its rapid growth started from its previous parent company Itochu Corporation’s partnership with Anta Group in 2016 – one year after the announcement of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The joint venture not only allowed the brand to enter the Chinese market, but also leverage the huge opportunity brought by Chinese authorities’ investments in the winter sports. In the past eight years, thanks to Anta Group’s extensive distribution networks across top-tier and lower-tier cities in China and its brand management agility, Descente runs 183 stores in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, as of June 2023.
And now, by providing gear for the Chinese national snowboard and ski teams, Descente is set to consolidate its leading position in the ski sector, powered by cutting-edge sports technology and endorsements from professional athletes.
Meanwhile, Altay, a region of Xinjiang, has become one of the most recognized ski destinations in China, due to its favorable geography featuring high mountainous terrain, heavy snowfall, excellent snow conditions, and low winds. It has the longest operating winter sports season in China, usually from October to May.
As peak snow season is arriving, Descente’s partnership, along with its pivotal marketing campaign, will further elevate brand awareness and its desirability among local winter sports enthusiasts.