Monday, November 19, 2007

China: The race is on

Converse have introduce a new version of the classic All Stars high tops. The design of the new shoe was in collaboration with the Japanese street-wear designer, Hiroshi Fujiwara. Known as the ‘Godfather of Harajuku’, Fujiwara is associated with bringing Japanese street-style, ‘Harajuku’ (named after the area in Tokyo where it originated) to the Western masses. The new high tops retail from £60. Converse, like their competitors are keen to capture the interest of the Far East market. As the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games gets nearer the competition is hotting up with New Balance committed to become the No 1 running-wear brand in the Chinese market. New Balance will continue to be the official sponsor of the modern pentathlon at the 2008 Olympic Games, as they considered this to be a golden opportunity to showcase products to consumers and distributors. Outside the US, China is the biggest market with companies hoping to double their market share within the next five years. Nike and Adidas are already widely accepted and compete favourably with local sports brands, Anta and Li Ning. Of course it is not all one way traffic. The Fujian's Peak Group Co have entered into a lucrative deal with The Chinese National Basketball Association to promote their products. This partnership will allow Peak's brand to appear on all nationally broadcast NBA games in the US and on the NBA's official Chinese website. To tap into China’s large NBA market, Peak intend to use player endorsement and have already signed Shane Battier (Houston Rockets). The NBA is committed to develop basketball in China, and hope the association with Peak will further fan interaction.

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