Nike has big plans for China. It wants to double its sales there by 2015 to $4 billion annually, reports the Wall Street Journal.
But to pull that off, Nike has to convince its Asian consumers that it’s more than just a fashion label.
The country has tons of basketball fans, but not many people play sports recreationally. So the brand is trying to “replicate an individual and team-sports culture like the one that exists in North America,” by getting consumers to start running and snowboarding in their free time.
“The challenge is formidable,” Torsten Stocker of the market research firm Monitor Group told the Journal.
The apparel company recently opened an action-sports store in Shanghai, and launched an exclusive line of Nike Zoom Air Lebron 9 basketball shoes in the region. It’s also sponsoring a snowboarding competition in Beijing in 2012, and is increasing its number of sports celebrity endorsements.
All of this aligns with the PRC General Administration of Sport’s plan to create 4 million sports-related jobs over the next five years, reports the China Business Review. It wants to “raise the share of China’s GDP spent on the sports industry from less than 0.5 per cent ($23 billion) to 0.7 per cent ($62 billion) over the period.”
Though changing a culture is a huge task, that’s precisely what the Nike brand did in the U.S., starting in the 1970s.
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