Anta bets on football in China
Basketball is the major men's team sport in China. Yet football too has a certain appeal, thanks to a strong women's national team and its position as the world's most popular sport. In spring, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a nationwide reform of the sport. The plan mandatorily mobilises soldiers and students, and also represents a wealth of opportunities for the sport's Chinese industry.
Anta is the long-standing rival of Li Ning, and in the 2014 fiscal year generated CNY8.92 billion in revenue (€1.184 billion). The company has now devised a long-term strategy to establish itself as football leader in the world's most populous country.
The group first of all developed a product line for practising the sport, explaining how it notably analysed the stride of 16,000 youngsters across the country to build up its football boot range. From the end of the year, Anta will launch its children, teenager and adult models in China, with prices starting from CNY199 (less than €30).
The product launches are going hand in hand with an agreement with the Jiangsu province to set up a youth football championship. The initiative is expected to generate some 200,000 football matches in about one thousand schools, thus engaging about 20,000 young players.
Alongside this, Anta entered into a partnership with a football school to set up a coaching education programme. The objective is to welcome 2,000 future coaches specialised in training young footballers in the next three years.
Finally, Anta agreed a deal with the Shulua company to build football grounds in China, as the country is lacking in this type of infrastructure. The investment is substantial, but the scale of the nationwide effort and the hope of a World Cup in 10 or 14 years suggest huge growth opportunities.
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