What do Chinese sports consumers like ?

In recent years, we began to see more people in China wearing sportswear. This shows a need for a new lifestyle and also a research of better quality of life. The sports market is welcoming a lot of opportunities for brands in this sector. How much do you know about Chinese sports consumers?

The Chinese sports consumer’s profile

The May 2017 survey produced by Nielsen Sports in collaboration with Leaders shows that 59% of the total Chinese urban. 82% of these people are aged between 26 and 45.

We might think that more the environment is developed or wealthy, and more people would be concerned about Sports. However, results show a difference between people living in tier 1 cities, tier 2 cities and tier 3 cities. There are more people doing sport in tier 2 (45%) and tier 3 cities (37%) than in tier 1 cities (18%). Second Tier cities in China including but not limited to Chengdu, Wuhan, Tianjin, Xiamen, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Shenyang.

Chinese’s sports interest

The country’s most popular sport is Basketball, ahead of traditional favorites, table tennis, and badminton. Jordan is, by the way, a very appreciated sports brand among Chinese.

The jogging and running also are appreciated by Chinese sportspeople. Viewed as basic ones, it’s the most practiced and nearly half of them jog or run. In fact, the barriers to entry for recreational running and jogging are among the lowest of any sport. You just need to grab a good pair of sneakers and comfortable clothing to start your exercise. Besides, a lot of people are still considering the running as the main way to stay in shape.

We can notice that the interest in Football has been growing steadily over the last years. Now, it is part of the school’s system in the country. The government is implementing facilities and initiatives to help increase participants and create fans. The last Football world cup has generated a lot of topics on Chinese social media platforms.

With the growth of national income and the increase in living standard, Chinese people started to turn to outdoor sports like hiking, camping, climbing, skiing, and skating. According to a marketing survey, the market share of outdoor sports increased dramatically.

Consumers want personalized items

According to GlobalData, many consumers are moving away from traditional categorizations and labels. Thus, from a work-focused to lifestyle-focused, Chinese consumers now are increasingly seeking products personalized to their individual preferences. GlobalData’s 2016 consumer research showed that 66% of consumers globally are most likely to purchase products developed for their lifestyle, basing upon location, personality, activity levels and frequency of socializing.

Jamie Mills, Consumer Analyst for GlobalData, explains: “In today’s individualistic society, there is a growing desire for products which can better align with consumers based on their individual preferences and personality in order to effectively express themselves, as well as meeting the needs of a specific lifestyle they are trying to lead.”

An increasing need for expression

The last words of Mills are revealing a key fact about Chinese. More and more people are trying to lead a specific lifestyle and we can feel it through the Chinese internet.

The “online socialization” is a growing fact in China. People now are more often reading and speaking online instead of through more traditional forms of mainstream media. With the digitalization, there are more connections between. people, they see others’ attitude, life, value etc. There are a lot of Key Opinion Leaders in China, and they influence their audience’s taste every day. People can be quite inspired and encouraged to seek their own particularity, wanting to express their words, their passion, their style.

Popular Sports brand in China

Most valuable sports business brands worldwide in 2017 (in billion U.S dollars) calculated by Forbes :

With a business’ brand value estimated at 29.9, Nike is the worldwide leader in Sports and the brand is also very appreciated among Chinese. It’s considered a trusted and innovative brand. Adidas come in 2nd position, viewed as a fashion sports brands. Many young Chinese links the brand with personality and coolness.

When it comes to basketball shoes, everyone will definitely come up with Nike shoes.  It has been a symbol not only in the US but also all over the world. Jordan brand, a secondary line of Nike, is devoted to developing basketball shoes.

Technology is a key to the growth opportunity

With the evolving media landscape in China, several online media platforms are competing for premium international sports rights to build subscriber and audience bases.

Social media, how does it help to market sporting goods?

Nowadays, the Chinese spend a lot of his time online, whether for work or for entertaining. China is the most digitalized society where people can almost do any daily task through its mobile phone. Along with the development of the internet, the social network has become a necessary part of people’s daily life.

The reach of platforms as the ones of Alibaba is interesting for Brands to gain exposure, whether on social media or e-commerce sites. People have to be in contact with these sports to be interested. After they have created enough visibility, the accessibility will be needed. As we all know in marketing, the desire is a created thing.

Also, social media platforms allow to build a community and keep the enthusiasm. More information in this article. 

Brands have to make sure these following points :

* To know well the Chinese market is fundamental. China’s rising middle class is currently changing the structure of the society. Also, brands need to take into account the wide divergence between its cities, as people are different from one area to another.

* Ensure an online presence and a sufficient visibility (through the Baidu SEO) to target your consumer.

The digitalization has brought a lot of opportunities to market in China. GMA is the specialist of the Chinese market and its consumers. We provide you with effective solutions to realize your project in China.

Feel free to send us an e-mail if you want to discuss your business.

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1 comment

  • Patrick H

    The sportswear market kept going regarding apparel in China, but what are the responsible factors? KOLs… pop culture… others?

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