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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shoe endorsement deals: A wind of change

Anta is one of China’s athletic companies and they have just stepped in with an endorsement deal for top-ranked women’s tennis player, Jelena Janković . The star was formerly with Reebok but now has a three year deal with Anta estimated to be worth $5.1 US million. So far the significant non-Chinese endorsements for Chinese footwear companies have been in basketball. Peak counts Shane Battier and Jason Kidd as endorsers. Shaquille O’Neal has a China-only endorsement deal with Li-Ning. However since a decline in popularity of tennis in the US combined with recession in the shoe industry has left many top seeds yet to find sponsors. More and more Chinese companies like Li-Ning and Peak are beginning to compete with the giants Nike and Adidas. The Anta deal highlights a changing marketplace for sneaker endorsement deals. There is also a change in the way many players will be paid, previously contracts were based upon on-court performance however now these are tied to the success of the products.

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