Firms help spur a running craze in China

Firms help spur a running craze in China

Staff Reporter


More and more people in China are taking up running, with its popularity fueled by private running groups and promotions hosted by various companies including sporting goods giant Nike and China’s largest residential real estate developer Vanke, reports Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald.On Nov. 16, 1,500 runners flocked to the former site of a factory owned by Chinese steel company Shougang Corp in Beijing to attend a running event held by Nike. The event kicked off with a promotional film and ended with a rock music concert; it also featured attractive coaches.

Nike said the event was meant to inspire more people to go jogging, and it is the company’s responsibility to arm joggers with the best equipment for this purpose, according to Simon Pestridge, vice president of marketing at Nike Greater China.

The sporting goods giant previously sponsored the 2012 Shanghai International Marathon, prior to which Nike’s outlet in Shanghai offered marathon training and invited runners from around the world to attend exchanges with members of local running groups.

Jeanne Huang, Nike’s communications director for Greater China, said the sponsorship was largely meant to tap the company’s expertise in the sports business to inspire a love for jogging in participants. Huang played down the idea that the company is only aiming to boost the brand.

As part of efforts to inspire a love for running amongst China’s youth, Nike on Nov. 13 launched a 60-second-long film titled The Run, as well as a commercial comprising interviews with runners including blind Hong Kong runner Inti; 74-year-old Sun Gengsheng; and Liu Xiang, a Chinese hurdler who won an Olympic gold medal in 2004.

In contrast with this focus on young people in China, Vanke’s jogging push targets the middle-aged in a bid, it said, to boost their health.

At the Beijing Marathon in October, Vanke’s CEO Yu Liang showed the company’s support for jogging by participating in the marathon, finishing the run in 3 hours and 44 minutes. Sources from Vanke noted that Yu aimed to persuade companies and organisations around China to encourage running among employees, since many of their middle-aged personnel are under severe pressure and tend to neglect their health.

So far this year, Vanke has held running events in four major cities to promote health awareness among workers, and the company is looking to hold similar events in 60 cities nationwide next year.

Meanwhile, Beijing Hyundai Motor has been honest about its motives to boost brand recognition through running sponsorships. Sources said the company, which sponsored the recent Beijing Marathon on Oct. 20, aimed to boost its brand through sponsorship and to target young consumers in support of its launch of several new car models.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: