Aug 11, 2008

Li Ning grabs the opening spotlight

BEIJING - Ambush marketing doesn't come much more blatant than running around the rim of the National Stadium waving a lit torch at the climax of the spectacular opening ceremony.

Li Ning grabs the opening spotlight
But adidas played down the fact the Olympic Cauldron was lit by Li Ning, the Olympic-gymnast-turned-sportswear-tycoon who owns its biggest mainland-owned rival. “Li Ning is a sporting hero and deserved the honour of lighting the torch,” said Jan Runau, adidas Group’s global corporate communications director.

Runau also sought to play down any talk of a snub toward adidas. “We’re the official sportswear partner of the Olympics, not an official sponsor.”
Although adidas’ global rival, Nike, outfitted most of the Chinese Olympic athletes, Li Ning sponsors four of China’s most successful teams - table tennis, diving, gymnastics and shooting. It  also  sponsors the outfits for the national broadcaster CCTV.
Source:
Campaign China

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