Sports exports surge with approach of Paris Olympics-Xinhua

Sports exports surge with approach of Paris Olympics

Source: China Daily

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-14 14:33:53

At a factory owned by Double Fish Sports Group, a Chinese sporting goods manufacturer based in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, more than 20 boxes of table tennis balls were loaded into a shipping container destined for France.

Together with previous shipments, the company's table tennis balls have not only been used by people at schools, sports clubs and homes in France, but also will be featured in matches during the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games, from July 26 to Aug 11.

"As an exclusive supplier of table tennis balls for the Olympic Games in Paris, we hope this grand event will boost interest in table tennis across the world and spur the dynamic growth of other sports products that have not yet captured a significant market share," said Wang Xiaodong, the company's chairman.

With major sporting events like soccer's 2024 UEFA European Championship (from Friday to July 14) in Germany and the Paris Olympics igniting enthusiasm for sports across the world, the sports economy in many parts of China is experiencing a significant upswing. This surge is marked by a substantial increase in exports of sports equipment and Olympic-themed products.

For example, Double Fish Sports Group has exported more than 6 million yuan ($827,000) worth of sporting goods to over 20 countries so far this year, up 15.2 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from Guangzhou Customs.

Yiwu, a manufacturing hub in Zhejiang province, saw its foreign trade value of sporting goods and equipment soar 44 percent year-on-year to more than 4 billion yuan in the first five months of 2024, according to data provided by local customs.

Wang Yongxia, a marketing manager at View Electronic Co, a television manufacturer based in Nantong, Jiangsu province, said these major sporting events have not only drawn global attention to Europe, but also have boosted his company's liquid crystal display TV exports. The company shipped 1.74 million yuan worth of TVs to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

The cumulative value of the company's TV exports reached 140 million yuan between January and May, representing a 110 percent increase year-on-year. Its shipments of 85-inch (215.9 centimeters) large-screen TVs have grown threefold year-on-year, data from Nanjing Customs showed.

"We will continue to explore emerging markets such as South America and the Middle East," Wang said.

Quality and affordability have long been the hallmarks of Chinese products. During major events like the Olympics and major soccer matches, these products often showcase innovation and gain market favor, bolstering confidence in the thriving sports economy, said Zhang Yongjun, a researcher at the Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Jiang Yiyi, deputy dean of the sports, leisure and tourism school of Beijing Sport University, said the Paris Olympics are poised to rekindle consumer enthusiasm for sports, as they will be the first Games since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. This resurgence is expected to invigorate the sporting goods market.

Eager to gain more market share in China, French sporting goods manufacturer and retailer Decathlon recently launched its professional road bike brand to tap the nation's huge cycling market.

The company has also expanded its product line to more than 80 sports in recent years to support people in different age groups and with different abilities.

(Source: China Daily)