Building up core competitiveness with the twin drivers of "professional and fashionable" sporting goods
In the first half of 2021, the Group, guided by its clear brand positioning, optimised and upgraded the portfolio of brands in its two product categories, namely the professional sporting goods and fashionable sporting goods. This resulted in the Group's steady development. In its professional sporting product category, the Group concentrated its resources on the development of three core types of sporting goods, namely those for basketball, running, and comprehensive training. The Group signed a contract with Aaron GORDON, an international basketball superstar, and Kyranbek MAKAN, a well-known Chinese professional basketball player, to engage them as its brand spokespersons. In addition, the Group also signed a contract with LI Zicheng, the Asia and China marathon double champions and various elite runners to promote its products, and sponsored a number of national teams and professional sporting teams as well as the international large-scale sports events including the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2022 so as to strengthen the Group's image as a brand of functional products for sports.
As to its fashionable sporting product category, the Group leveraged its rich experience in operating co-branded intellectual property ("IP") products. It continued to launch a number of co-branded products such as The Three-Body Problem, Saint Seiya, Gundam, Initial D, Minions and Captain Tsubasa, which had been widely recognised within the industry and among consumers. In June 2021, the Group officially signed a contract with GONG Jun, a well-known young actor in China who matched nicely its brand image, to engage him as the global endorser of the Group's products. This has accentuated such characteristics as trendiness and youthfulness of the Group's products and enhanced its brand image.
The Group has made a significant contribution to the development of the growing trend of China-Chic culture. On 24 April 2021, 361º officially entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with the China Cotton Industry Alliance (CCIA) in Urumqi, Xinjiang, to promote the concept of "Producing Quality Chinese Products with Quality Chinese Cotton" and provide products made of high-quality Chinese cotton for consumers. The move can enhance the influence of the Chinese brands of cotton. At the signing ceremony, the Group successfully launched a campaign for promoting new products manufactured with Chinese cotton under the theme of "Love for Xinjiang". During such campaign, a series of new Chinese cotton products that feature the China-Chic trend and local cultural characteristics were introduced to the market and they received overwhelming responses.
Enhancing competitive advantages that differentiate 361° Kids and strengthening the Group's leading position in the kids' wear industry
The Group vigorously expanded its product lines and developed finer market segments by enriching the sub-categories of products and constantly enriched its product portfolio to meet the children and teenagers' diverse needs. Its current product categories have covered various occasions and purposes such as those of running, football, basketball, outdoor activities and campus life, etc. The Group comprehensively cooperated with such superior resources as the most prestigious football clubs and football schools in China to keep enhancing the Group's advantages that differentiate the 361º Kids brand from the peers' brands and to consolidate and strengthen the Group's leading position in the domestic kids' wear industry.
361º Kids leveraged the positioning of its products as "technology-driven, new China-Chic products". Therefore, it constantly enhanced the health technology to be adopted in its products. It has successively launched innovative technologies such as dryness and FUNFOAM technology, and cooperated with China State Shipbuilding Corporation to apply the "Zinc" anti-microorganism Technology in the production of kids' wear. Meanwhile, childlike interest and kids' fashion were also integrated into the design of the products of 361º Kids. For example, 361º Kids cooperated with the owner of the "China Aerospace * Space Imagination" IP and launched a series of products that featured a sense of future and manifested the power of science and technology, which earned acclaims from the market. During the period under review, 361º Kids and the 18th Jinjiang Gymnasiade jointly launched the "Youth Sports Promotion Plan", and became the title sponsor of the track and field events of the Gymnasiade.
Upgrading the brands online through precision marketing
In the post-pandemic era, the inexorable trend towards the transformation of online sales channels is gathering momentum. Ever oriented to customers' needs, the Group has adopted appropriate positioning on the e-commerce platforms and carries out the upgrading of its brands online by leveraging the product upgrade, digital transformation and operational efficiency enhancement. As a result, e-commerce has become an efficient operation for boosting sales and enhancing brand image. In the light of the differences between online and offline customer bases, the Group made use of big data to conduct product planning with precision. This, coupled with multi-dimensional sales and marketing, led to rapid growth in online sales. For example, hot sellers such as Aaron GORDON autographed basketball shoes Zen 3 and AG1 series sold out in seconds after their online launch. The products which were marketed with a young actor GONG Jun as the endorser also became bestsellers.
Since 2021, the Group has been upgrading its classic products for international markets and has taken the lead in launching them on domestic e-commerce platforms. Such products have been well received by young consumers, consumers in first- and second-tier cities, affluent consumers and consumers with a large average ticket size. During the period under review, the Group launched Spire-R and Spire-S, both of which are highly sought after by consumers. The Group's research and development team collaborated with LI Zicheng, the Asia and China marathon champion, in developing the "Flying Flame" professional marathon running carbon shoes, which, once launched, triggered panic-buying on the e-commerce platforms.
Mr. Ding Wuhao, President of 361? Group said, "Looking ahead to the second half of this year, the sports industry is expected to maintain momentum of steady growth and enter into a stage of high-quality development. As a leading sportswear brand enterprise in China, 361º will continue to uphold the brand concept of 'One Extra Degree of Passion' and reinforce its positioning as a 'specialised, youthful and internationalised' brand. We will endeavor to continuously enhance the brand value and product value, better serve consumers, and strive to bring good returns to the shareholders."
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About 361 Degrees International Limited
Established in 2003, 361° is a leading sportswear enterprise in China. The Group is an integrated sporting goods company which principally engages in brand management, research and development, design, manufacturing and distribution. Its comprehensive product portfolio comprises footwear, apparel, accessories under the 361° Core brand and 361° kids brand. Upholding the brand concept of "One Extra Degree of Passion" (?????), 361° continues to strengthen its positioning as a specialised, youthful and internationalised brand, striving to provide the professional sportswear products to sports lovers.
The Group operates a distributorship business model through the first-tier, exclusive distributors and second-tier, authorised retailers to manage an extensive distribution network of over 7,000 retail stores across China and the world. It has established a leading position in third-tier and lower-tier cities in China.
For more details, please refer to its website: www.361sport.com
For further information, please contact:
iPR Ogilvy Limited
361 Degrees International Limited
Tina Law / Lorraine Luk/ Bonita Wong
Ms. Nina Zhan
Tel: (852) 2136 6181 / 2169 0467 / 3920 7645
Vice-President, Investor Relations
17/08/2021 Dissemination of a Marketing Press Release, transmitted by EQS Group. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. Media archive at www.todayir.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 17, 2021 02:04 ET (06:04 GMT)