Chinese sports brand eyes western markets

Naibu, the Chinese sports good manufacturer, is plotting a marketing offensive to take on mid-market brands such as Fila and New Balance in the West, using the £50m it hopes to raise in a planned stock market flotation in April.

Naibu

Naibu, which makes sportswear and trainers, plans to use part of the funds raised to bolster its international profile, as part of a long-term strategy to establish its presence outside of China.

Speaking to Marketing Week, a spokesman for Daniel Stewart, the stockbroker handling the float says while the brand is not looking to establish itself internationally yet in terms of its products, it is looking to build the international profile with a longer-term perspective in mind.

He adds: “In the long-term the brand will look at international expansion but at presence there’s a lot to go for in terms of growth’s in Chinese market, which is growing quickly. Naibu is a middle market brand effectively and it will look to focus on brand building marketing rather than sponsorship activity like some of its bigger peers such as Nike and Adidas moving forward.”

The funds will be principally used to build two new factories in central and western China, with the remainder being invested in domestic marketing initiatives.

Between 2008 and 2010, the sportswear manufacturer’s revenue growth in China was 44% per annum, compared to a 25% to 30% share for the Chinese sports market, according to Daniel Stewart.

Founded in 2002, the Naibu brand is aimed at students 12 years-old and above and has nearly 3,000 stores across 21 provinces in China. It currently has a 1.4% share in the China sportswear market, compared to a 2.7% of the student and young adult market.

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