Li-Ning Basketball Shoes to Debut in NBA
Monday January 9, 2:30 pm ET
Cleveland Cavalier Damon Jones becomes first American NBA player to endorse Chinese athletic shoes
BEIJING, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Li-Ning Sports Goods Co., Ltd. (HKEx: 2331) announced today the signing of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star Damon Jones to an endorsement contract. With the signing, Jones becomes the first American NBA player to endorse and wear Chinese branded shoes and apparel. The unique partnership is a milestone for the global development of Li-Ning sporting goods and enables Li-Ning to be recognized around the world as a top tier professional sports equipment company.
"Li-Ning is a company focused on performance with strong capacities for marketing, research and development," Damon Jones said. "Wearing Asian-styled, Li-Ning products makes me different from others on the court and I am honored to be the first to wear the Li-Ning brand in NBA games."
Jones ranks 5th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage and ranks in the top 10 in three additional field-goal categories. During the 2004-2005 season, Jones achieved his best professional season with a three-point shot percentage of 43.2 percent to help lead his team to the conference finals.
Li-Ning became an official strategic partner of the NBA in January 2005, and the new partnership with Jones demonstrates the company’s commitment to further develop a world-class brand in the professional basketball arena.
"Teaming up with Damon sharpens the competitive edge of the Li-Ning brand in our competition with world renowned sports brands and paves the way for global business development," said Zhang Zhiyong, CEO of Li-Ning. "In 2006, Damon will serve as the premier resource for successful basketball marketing, helping Li-Ning to establish a professional image on and off the court."
Jones first wore Li-Ning’s "Fei Jia" basketball shoes in a game on November 18, 2005 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Besides the company’s Cushion & Bounce technology and shock absorption technology, the "Fei Jia" also adopts the newly-developed Arch shock absorption structure. These and its exterior, Asian-style design combines to make the shoes eye-catching on the court.
Li-Ning will provide Jones with three types of Li-Ning shoes and sportswear in six colors this season. According to the terms of the endorsement contract negotiated by Jones’ agent Mark Termini, attorney and president of Cleveland – based sports management agency MTA Inc., Jones will wear Li-Ning basketball shoes during NBA games and he also will wear Li-Ning basketball sportswear in training.
As part of his contract with Li-Ning, Jones will appear on billboards and in other Chinese ads and a wax statue of Jones will be displayed at Li-Ning retail stores. Li-Ning plans to invite Jones to China later this year, giving Chinese basketball fans the opportunity to enjoy the demeanor of the super shooter.
About Li-Ning Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1990, Li-Ning Co., Ltd has 2,500 stores covering every province in China, with plans to open 1,500 more by 2008. Its corporate mission states, "Becoming a global leading company of sporting goods – making into the world’s top five sporting goods manufacturers by 2018, with the international business taking over 20% of the total business. Becoming a sports brand administrator and growing up to leading roles in more than two mainstream events." Additional information is available at http://english.li-ning.com.cn.
Source: Li-Ning Sports Goods Co., Ltd.