Expanding the branding for winter
With China aiming to have 300 million citizens involved in ice and snow sports ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the global leaders in winter sports brands are gearing up to expand their market share in the world's most populous nation.
France-based Rossignol Group became the latest when it unveiled a long-term strategy at a media conference in Beijing on Wednesday.
After entering into a partnership with IDG Capital, China's leading foreign investment firm, Rossignol is in the process of establishing an organizational structure for its operations in China and plans to open new stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
"We cannot wait to begin writing our story in China in the same way we have been doing for the past 110 years around the world, and to give Chinese consumers the opportunity to benefit from our experience and French know-how," said Bruno Cercley, president and CEO of Rossignol Group.
"We are delighted to have Chinese partners as part of our discussions; they are helping to write this new chapter in our history so that we can offer an unforgettable experience to Chinese winter sports enthusiasts and actively contribute to the growth of the outdoor sports market here."
As a company that manufactures and markets a broad range of winter sportswear and equipment, Rossignol has achieved great successes in France, Austria and the United States.
The group and its affiliated brands provide a unique experience for consumers, from high-level athletes to amateurs, from the mountains to the city, all year long.
"We've been in China for 18 years, but right now it's a great time to change our strategy and speed up our steps," said Cercley.
"We can see there is bigger interest in winter sports thanks to the 2022 Winter Games, and we will put forward a series of efforts to get closer to Chinese winter sports athletes, fans and customers."
To facilitate the deployment of Rossignol Group's business strategy while respecting the specificity of local demand, a China-based general manager will be hired this fall.
Cercley knows one of the best ways to expose the brand to more people is to cooperate with the best winter sports teams and athletes－particularly skiers.
At this year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Rossignol-sponsored teams won 72 medals. Individual athletes who are sponsored by Rossignol and its affiliated brands won 17 gold medals, 27 silver and 28 bronze.
"The Olympics represent one of best ways to connect Rossignol to fans and customers through our sponsored teams and athletes," said Cercley.
"In China, we will work with the Chinese Skiing Association and look for cooperation to get closer to athletes and fans. We will also work closely with resorts and open bases or clinics in mountain areas for skiing enthusiasts."