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Chinese Sports Brand Takes On Nike

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 13 January 2010
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 934

Li Ning opened its first U.S. store in Portland, home to the sportswear giant's headquarters.

HONG KONG -- In its quest for international recognition, Chinese sports brand Li Ning wants to take on world-class competitors. That's why it opened its first U.S. outlet in Portland, Ore. -- the same city where Nike's headquarters are located.

There was neither ribbon-cutting nor dragon-dancing when Li Ning ( LNNGF - news - people ), China's largest retailer and supplier of sporting goods, opened its store on NW Hoyt Street near Portland's central post office on Jan 4. Yet, Li Ning's quiet entry into the U.S. market stirred up interest in Oregon's biggest city, a hub for Nike ( NKE - news - people )'s designers, distributors and buyers.

As part of its latest marketing strategy to attract U.S. consumers, Li Ning has chosen a few sporting goods to feature in its Portland store. These products include badminton, basketball and table tennis gear as well as a line of kung fu/tai chi-themed sportswear.

A Li Ning spokesperson in Hong Kong told Forbes that Li Ning will begin to enter into the international market between 2009 and 2013.

"Its first store in Portland is a trial for the company to test and to get familiar with the U.S. market. With actual data to form a more concrete plan, Li Ning is expected to expand and penetrate into the international market from 2014 to 2018", said Philip Lo of iPROgilvy on behalf of Li Ning.

Lo added that the mainland Chinese market is still Li Ning's major stream of income now and in the near term. Li Ning did not release official figures about its market share and ranking in China. According to a research report by BoA Merrill Lynch, Nike was the most popular sport brand in China with 19% market share in 2008 while Addidas ranked second with 15% share and Li Ning seized 11% share as the country's No. 3. The brokerage estimated Li Ning to have overtaken Adidas in 2009 as the second largest player in China's $10 billion sportswear industry.

 
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Fairuzizuan-Zakry aim to justify status as the No. 2 pair (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 12 January 2010
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 547

KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s doubles shuttlers Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif may be the second ranked pair in the country but that does not guarantee them a place in the squad for the Thomas Cup Finals.Barren run: Zakry (left) and Fairuzizuan ended the year without any titles.

Last year, the duo ended the year without any titles – putting a dent to their credibility as the country’s second best pair behind Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.

Currently, several back-up pairs are not only breathing down their necks, but are hoping to dislodge the seniors for a place in the Thomas Cup squad.

But Fairuzizuan and Zakry are not going to take the challenge lying down.

They are determined to regain their confidence with a good showing in the Malaysian Open, which will begin at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Jan 19-24.

“We want to make the Thomas Cup squad by justifying our status as the second best pair in the country. So, it is important for us to do well in three Open tournaments, starting with the Malaysian Open,” said Fairuzizuan.

 

Chetan Anand, Trupti Murgunde champs

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 12 January 2010
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 946

GUWAHATI: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board shuttlers Chetan Anand, the 14th seed, and second-seeded Trupti Murgunde clinched the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively in the 74th Senior National Badminton Championships that concluded here on Sunday.

In the men’s final, Chetan had to dig deep into his resources to get the better of the 13th-seeded Bangalorean and also his team-mate Anup Sridhar in 55 minutes.

Anup started off on a bright note and a determined effort saw him taking the first game 21-16. However, it was not the case in the second and third games. Chetan hit back in the second game and took it 21-19 but not before Anup gave a tough fight. It was a bit of disappointment in the decider as Anup was not able to keep up with his rival and lost 21-10.

This is Chetan’s fourth overall national men’s singles title.
The battle in the women’s singles final was not as intense as Trupti defeated top seed Sayali Gokhale to clinch her maiden National women’s singles title.

Though there was some resistance from Sayali in the first game, which her rival won 21-17, it was a rather lop-sided affair in the second game. Sayali could manage just seven points in the second and succumbed to Trupti in 36 minutes.

It was a double for Jwala Gutta on Sunday. In the mixed doubles final, she combined with V Diju and the third-seeded pair did not have too much trouble in brushing aside the challenge of top seeds Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan in just 18 minutes. They won 21-12 21-7.

Later, Jwala teamed up with Ashwini Ponnappa and they registered a 21-15 22-20 victory over Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurien, the top seeds, in a 29-minute encounter in the women’s doubles final. Second seeds Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas bagged the men’s doubles title with a 21-15 21-18 win over Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal.

 
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BAM to look into Chong Wei’s wish to play in China’s league

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 12 January 2010
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 515

KUALA LUMPUR: World number one Lee Chong Wei’s request to play in the China Badminton League (CBL) will be “deliberated carefully” to avoid unnecessary burden on the player and the national association.

Yesterday, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager Kenny Goh said they would look into Chong Wei’s schedule before making a decision.

Chong Wei had expressed his desire to play in the CBL as he felt that it would be an ideal platform to enjoy some quality matches.

The league kicked off in December and will resume in May.

“We will discuss it if he brings it up with us. There are so many aspects to look into. This is a heavy year for Chong Wei and we do not want to burden him,” said Kenny.

“It is a year where Chong Wei has been targeted to excel in several major events. This has to be looked into.

“We also have to look into sponsorship matters. Will his participation in the CBL affect our sponsors? We need more details before making a decision.”

Last year, Chong Wei was invited to represent the Guangzhou province in the CBL but the BAM did not give him the green light. Besides, Chong Wei was down with an injury that saw him pulling out of the Laos SEA Games.

 
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Pickings Slim for Indonesian Badminton at Season Opener

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 12 January 2010
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 493

When the Korea Open Super Series begins today in Seoul, the number of former Indonesians will nearly match those who still play for Indonesia.

With national team shuttlers sitting out the $300,000 season opener, Indonesia only has three players representing it — Hendra Aprida Gunawan, Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Flandy Limpele.

The Indonesian Badminton Association kept its shuttlers out of the Korea Open, citing a lack of preparation time after the Southeast Asian Games in December. The extra training was part of the association’s plan to stop Indonesia’s decline after a year in which it won just five Super Series titles.

Its decision to hold off until the Malaysia Open left the burden of reviving the country’s fortunes on the shoulders of professional shuttlers such as Hendra and Alvent.

 

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