Sports Brands Hurry to Embrace Internet Marketing in China


With major domestic and worldwide sporting occasions recently and rising recognition from the internet, increasingly more sports enterprises are beginning to think about internet marketing being an important method for corporate marketing optimization, market expansion and brand building.

Much talked about co-operations

Your competition for online sport shows started on fourth Apr 2007, when China’s well-known sports brand, Lining, named the sports portion of Netease, certainly one of China’s largest internet protal. Not just Lining’s logos and product promotions dominate all pages, the site design colours also comply with Lining’s red-based branding. This can be a 3-year proper cooperative agreement between Lining and Netease. Elsewhere, the sports parts of other major national internet portals will also be operated by sports brands: Adidas Sohu, Nike Sina and 361° Tencent Sports, etc.

Actually, sports brands’ internet marketing wave has started lengthy before 2007. Observers commented the rise of internet marketing in China has huge implications for that two sunrise industries, namely sports goods and internet commerce. It-not only reflects the proper marketing transitions of leading sports brands, brings an advertising and marketing breakthrough in China’s sports goods industry among the emerging internet marketing trend. By partnering with internet portals in areas for example advertising, editorial posts, contents and featured products, sports brands can take shape an extensive online brand display platform, which enables websites to grow their sports contents, hence victory-win situation.

Win-win benefits

Consider for example Lining and Netease cooperation. Based on Netease, the co-branding pages are anticipated to supply hundreds of million occasions of brand name exposures every year, improving the brand transmission in targeted audience. When it comes to contents, National basketball association posts as well as other Lining branded occasions posts happen to be launched, along with other Netease online products may also become channels for promoting Lining brand. There’s also Lining connected sections for example social networks, sports personality profiles, cool product exhibitions and sports fans interactive forums.

From Netease’s perspective, such all-round cooperation won’t enrich their sports section contents, but additionally produce a more humanized and interactive online atmosphere, attracting more audience and enhancing sports brand recognition.

Research justifications

Recent research reports have shown exactly why sports companies are prepared to invest a large amount to internet marketing: the dramatic rise of internet users in China has provided them sufficient confidence within the internet funnel.

Based on China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), as at June 2007, the entire quantity of Internet users in China arrived at 162 million, second simply to the U . s . States 211 million. When compared with finish of 2006, new internet population has arrived at 25 million. Demographic mixture of Chinese internet human population is current skewed towards youthful people, with 51.2% under twenty five years old and 70.6% under 3 decades old. This type of youthful, adventurous and enormous number of internet users is really a natural target for sports goods, no question sports sections on internet portal sites would be the hotly contested spots for sports brands companies.

IT&T industry talking to firm iResearch also printed China’s Sports Goods Internet Marketing Report, first Quarter 2007. The reports demonstrated that online sports goods marketing experienced strong growth between 2006 and 2007, with significant increases in internet marketing placement earnings, frequency, volume and media channels. Internet marketing has turned into a focus for consolidating marketing sources among sports companies, which is expected online market investments will further increase in 2007. Development in online sports goods advertising charges has maintained a higher speed since 2002, by having an annual rate of growth of 101%, and also the advertising charges in the year 2006 had arrived at almost US $ten million, 14 occasions the quantity in 2002.

iResearch recommended the rapid rising of sports goods internet marketing charges indicated increasingly more sports goods information mill having to pay focus on this latest and alternative funnel. For Beijing Olympics in 2008, internet marketing investments from sports companies is anticipated to help increase, having a concentrate on corporate image promotion. Internet marketing charges in corporate images, running shoes and sportswear stored rising in the year 2006, especially brought by corporate image promotions. While paying for running shoes and sportswear possessed a loss of first quarter of 2007, paying for corporate image promotion keeps rising quickly.