The domestic marathon is ready to run, and Adidas will “sprint” the Chinese market again
On March 5, the Tokyo Marathon, the earliest start of the world’s six Grand Slams, fired off the start. At the same time, domestic road running events will also start intensively, and the “running fever”, which has been suspended due to the impact of the epidemic in the past three years, is back on track.
According to statistics, as of the end of February 2023, more than 60 large-scale marathon events have been scheduled. Among them, there are many well-known events such as the Beijing Marathon, one of the four major marathons in China, the Beijing Half Marathon with a history of more than 60 years, and the Shenzhen Marathon, the “gold medal event” of the Chinese Athletics Association. And March 26 will be the first super race day of the new season. Over 20 marathon events have been planned in a single day, with a total scale of over 280,000 people.
The intensive start of domestic road running events is a silhouette of the running craze in China in the past ten years. What helps people fall in love with running is the ever-changing sports technology. In 1975, the American brand Brooks introduced the elastic material EVA into running shoes for the first time, replacing the previous slow-rebound rubber soles. Since then, running shoes have had the concept of “middle sole”. Since then, EVA has been the common midsole material in the industry.
In 2007, Adidas and its partner BASF Group jointly developed the sports shoe midsole technology BOOST, which is far more elastic than the EVA midsole technology commonly used in the industry at that time. In 2013, Adidas’ first pair of BOOST technology running shoes, ENERGY BOOST, came out, marking the entry of midsole technology into a new era. ENERGY BOOST running shoes combine the two characteristics of “soft cushioning” and “sharp responsiveness” that have been contradictory in the past, bringing a new experience to runners.
“While making more people fall in love with running, BOOST also set off a ‘marathon’ of running shoe midsole competition in the industry.” Some industry insiders said that in this “marathon”, Adidas is also constantly achieving self-transcendence . Based on BOOST foam with different performances, Adidas has developed different midsole technologies to meet the needs of different consumers. For example, LIGHTSTRIKE PRO foam on track and field and marathon running shoes, 4D FWD midsole innovative technology on daily running shoes, and the recently released new generation of ULTRABOOST LIGHT running shoes. The new ULTRABOOST LIGHT running shoes are the first to use the revolutionary innovative material LIGHT BOOST, which makes the midsole 30% lighter than the previous generation.
In fact, just like the competition of running shoe technology and the development of running sports, the development of Adidas in the Chinese market is also a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint. “In a marathon, we will lead sometimes, but there may also be times when we are tired. We need to slow down, adjust, reserve strength, and prepare for another sprint. The most important thing in a marathon is to constantly surpass ourselves. Improve yourself and do better and better.” Xiao Jiale, managing director of Adidas Greater China, said in an interview with the media.
“We know that professionalism is the core competitiveness of an enterprise, and innovative technology is the basis for us to be favored by consumers.” In Xiao Jiale’s view, “professionalism” is the most critical factor to win consumers’ love.
In addition to sticking to “professionalism” in products and technology, Adidas has also been deeply cultivating the Chinese market. Under the guidance of the concept of “in China, for China”, Adidas has been actively embracing the Chinese market in recent years. In 2022, with the cooperation and support of the Asian Creative Center, Chinese designers and local artists, Adidas creative products that ingeniously incorporate Chinese elements will explode. For example, Adidas collaborated with ceramic artist Yi Ran and contemporary avant-garde artist Zhang Quan to launch the “Ranguzi Down the Mountain” series and the “Puppet” series; extracting ideas from the customs and customs of Northwest China and the elements of local nomads, Adidas launched the “Looking for the Origin of Everything” series. “The first season of the “Sudden” series is planned… It is reported that in the next 2-3 years, products created in China will account for one-third of Adidas’ Chinese market volume.
It is worth mentioning that, in order to connect with Chinese culture at a deeper level, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany, Adidas and the China Literature and Art Foundation plan to pay tribute to the sportsmanship of century-old masters, spread the power of youth, and portray charm in the next three years. China cooperates in three aspects. Adidas will carry out various public welfare cultural activities around the spread of Chinese culture and the development of sports, and tell Chinese stories to the world from the perspective of Adidas. In addition, the opening ceremony of the first documentary “Century Masters·Education: Tan Kah Kee” was held at Xiamen University recently, and the “Century Masters Join Hands with Adidas to Bring Culture and Sports to Campus” also kicked off.
In addition, Adidas has long supported mass sports events such as the Beijing Marathon, Shanghai International Half Marathon, and Guangzhou Marathon. As of 2022, Adidas has cooperated with the Beijing Marathon for 13 years, participated in the Guangzhou Marathon as a top partner for 5 years, and cooperated with the Shanghai International Half Marathon for 7 years.