Adidas signs Chinese athletes for new campaign as it readies major expansion into the region

Ning Zetao and Hui Ruoqi will be the face of Adidas' One in a Billion campaign

Adidas has agreed partnerships with two Chinese sports stars for a new campaign intended to pave the way for a major retail expansion in the region.

The German sports brand recently partnered with champion freestyle swimmer Ning Zetao and volleyball star Hui Ruoqi for its upcoming 'One in a Billion' campaign created by 72andSunny.

The pair will feature in print and television ads for the campaign which is aiming to “boost creativity in sport”.

Ning Zetao has a strong social media following in China and was the first Asian to win a gold medal in 100-meter freestyle at the World Championships.

Hui Ruoqi meanwhile captained the women’s volleyball team to a gold medal at the Rio Olympics just one year after undergoing heart surgery.

“The two represent not only success in sports, but also stand out for their individuality as stars of the post-90s generation,” Adidas said in a statement.

The One in a Billion campaign builds on the brand’s effort to become China’s number one sports brand by 2020 and expand its 10,000 stores in the country with an additional 2,000.

This strategy also led Adidas to partner with the Dalian Wanda Group to develop soccer and basketball programs in China.

“Creativity is the core of our business and part of everything we do. We remain strongly committed to working closely with our ever-expanding portfolio of sports assets to accelerate the pace of sport development nationwide and inspire more Chinese to embrace their individuality through sport,” said Colin Currie, managing director of Adidas’ China operations.

Football is expected to serve as a key driver of growth in China for Adidas. In February, last year Currie said the brand was looking to capitalise on the surging popularity of football in the region in response to new government policies designed to foster the growth of the football industry within the country.

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