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Fitness trends fuel brand growth in China

Sport and exercise are taking off in China, driven by a combination of health and social factors, and opening up new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers.

People are looking beyond traditional sports like badminton and table-tennis and embracing a whole range of new activities from climbing to fishing.

Brands can look to leverage opportunities in these spaces – especially where no other brands occupy – catering and curating relevant experiences to strengthen associations.

Sports apparel dominates sponsorship awareness (62 per cent against all categories), with closer associated categories such as beverages (eight per cent) and automotive (eight per cent) and alcohol (two per cent) falling a distance behind.

There are also opportunities for non-endemic brands to build associations with sport. These will have to consider carefully how best to authentically link the brand in the particular sporting context. Given that the elevation of personal well-being and status is a key driver of sporting take-up, brands need to think through selection and leveraging of athletes that cater to this.

Brands need to focus on and highlight key areas to personal benefit when associating with specific sports.

A brand like Maia Active markets its products aesthetically, explaining how they are specially designed for Asian bodies and will make the user look good.