Li Ning: Brand Growth and Excellence in China

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR207
Case Length : 14 Pages
Pages Period : 1989-2206
Organization : Li Ning Company Limited
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : China
Industry : Sports Goods

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Li Ning - China's Sports Icon

It is necessary to know about Li Ning's personal achievements to understand the success and the power of the 'Li Ning' brand. Li Ning was born on October 3, 1963, in Liuzhou City, Southern China. He showed interest in gymnastics and began training at the age of seven. He entered the Chinese gymnastic team at the age of seventeen. In the Sixth World Cup Gymnastics Competition in 1982, he won six of the seven gold medals for men and was awarded the title, Prince of Gymnastics...

Establishment of Li Ning Company Limited

After retiring from sports in 1989, Li Ning wanted to set up a gymnastics school that would train China's future gymnastics stars. As the project required a large amount of money, he decided that he would earn money in business. He remarked, "I hope in my time we will address the critical shortage of first-class training facilities our young athletes face. Our current table tennis champions first learned to play on cement tables and our ace soccer players started playing on roadsides. We can do nothing without money."He was also fascinated by the sponsorship backing received by sporting teams and players in the western countries. Before starting and managing his own business, Li Ning decided to learn the intricacies of managing a business...

Growth of LNCL

The vision of the company was to provide quality sports goods and accessories to people who were passionate about sports and pursued a healthy lifestyle.

The mission for the future was to become the leader in the Chinese sports goods industry and be the owner of international sports brands.

The core values identified to achieve the company's vision and mission were excellence, professionalism, and innovation...

Product and Branding Stratagies

LNCL's product range comprised sportswear, footwear, and leisure clothing for men, women, and children. The company offered apparel and footwear for popular sports like soccer, golf, tennis, basketball, running, etc. The footwear included shoes, sandals, and socks. Apart from these, accessories like bags, caps, sports eyewear, and swimming accessories were also sold...

Distribution Stratagies

Distribution plays a key role in the success of any company in China. According to analysts, a good distribution network was more necessary for success than an intensive advertising campaign in the country. The example of beverage company Jianlibao demonstrates the point. Jianlibao had a heavy endorsement and advertisement campaign to lure customers but it was able to capture only 16% of the market...

Future Challenges

The rapid growth of the Chinese sports goods market offered LNCL many opportunities as well as challenges. As per a report by the State Sports General Administration (SSGA)24, China was projected to become the largest retail market for sporting goods in the world by 2010. The report also said that by 2010 an estimated 500 million people in China were expected to take part in some type of fitness program or sports event, which would lead to the use of sport goods...


Exhibit I: Brief Note on the Chinese Sports Goods Market
Exhibit II: Various Administrative Positions Held By Li Ning
Exhibit III: Corporate Structure of Lncl After Listing
Exhibit IV: Comparison of Financial Statements for the Six Months Ended 30 June
Exhibit V: The 'Li Ning' Logo
Exhibit VI: Li Ning Advertisement Pictures
Exhibit VII: Lncl's Retail Network
Exhibit VIII: Standard Uniform IV System For Display


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