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Chinese look outside China in celebrating sporting achievements


HONG KONG ó Jamaican Usain Boltís sprinting achievement, American Michael Phelps winning eight swimming gold medals and the Chinese menís gymnastics team win have all been singled out by urban Chinese (15%) as the best sporting moments of the Olympic Games, according to a recent post-Olympic survey conducted by SynovateĻ. The next best sporting moments are the Chinese womenís gymnastics team winning gold at 10% and Zhang Juan Juan winning gold in the archery at 9%.

Synovateís CEO for China, Darryl Andrew pointed out, "With respondents selecting Phelps, Bolt and the Chinese menís gymnastics team it illustrates that the best are recognised internationally, especially when their efforts result in outstanding, unprecedented performances with a touch of the drama... like the audacity of Boltís win in the 100m, the reliance of Phelps on his team mates in relays, and fingertip wins in the butterfly, and the gymnastics team reclaiming the gold they lost in Athens.

"The Chinese people give credit where credit is due Ė and know quality when they see it. This is also reflected in their support for Jamaica, 30% of respondents nominated this island nation as the one that had excelled the most in the games other than China.

ďWhile Jamaica was not even top 10 on the medal table, that nationís achievements (specifically those of Usain Bolt) has clearly captured the imagination of Chinese sporting fans. Not surprisingly, 44% chose the United States as the highest achiever other than China. Great Britainís vastly improved efforts did not go unnoticed either, with 12% of respondents giving that team the nod for best overall achievement.Ē
ĻThe survey was conducted online in tier one and tier two cities in China, in the 24 hours immediately following the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games. There were a total of 509 urban Chinese respondents.

Sponsors going for Gold

When asked which international Olympic sponsorís advertising or branding has been the most memorable, Adidas came out top at 22%, followed by Coca Cola at 18%, Nike at 16%, Li Ning at 15% and Lenovo at 10%.

For the most memorable local Olympic sponsorís advertising or branding, the top three are Li Ning (39%), Lenovo (25%) and China Mobile (9%).

Coca Colaís fun factor was noticed by the Chinese as a quarter of respondents selected them as the most enjoyable international Olympic sponsorís advertising or branding. This was followed by Adidas at 19% and Nike at 18%.

Locally, 28% of the Chinese respondents chose Li Ning 28% as the most enjoyable local sponsorís advertising or branding, followed by Lenovo at 22% and Yili at 11%.

Li Ning and Nike are not official Olympic sponsors, but each sponsor Olympic teams. Nike dressed most of the Chinese team and Li Ning sponsored the table tennis, diving, gymnastics and shooting teams.

"The sportswear brands are top-of-mind, perhaps because they create uplifting advertising and definitely because their logos are all over Olympic athletes.

Li Ning is already a household name in China and the brandís logo was emblazoned on many Olympic teamsí outfits, seeing Li Ning recognised as a sponsor of the Olympics was not surprising. However, it was probably the show-stopping torch relay finale with Li Ning in the spotlight high on the wires, which won Li Ning the pole position among local brands sponsoring the Olympics. This was celebrity attraction and (inadvertent) ambush marketing at its best" added Andrew.

Legacies, London 2012 and beyond

There is no doubt in Chinese peopleís minds as to the most important legacy of the Beijing Olympic Games. An overwhelming 60% percent say the most important take-out of the Games is that the rest of the world has learned about China. Fifteen percent say the most important legacy is the infrastructure and 12% say a shared pride in China.

"The impact of these Games on the Chinese psyche is more emotional than practical... truly a milestone in Chinaís relationship with the rest of the world.

"The Chinese are also very aware of the home town crowd advantage as we found that 46% of respondents do not think that China will do as well in London 2012 while 29% expect China to do the same in 2012 as they did in 2008 and a quarter of all respondents are expecting an even bigger medal haul in London.

ďOf course they may be caught up in Olympics fever, but a massive 21% of respondents even said they would consider going to the Olympic Games in London in 2012,Ē said Andrew.

Synovate also asked the Chinese people which of the candidates for host city in 2016 most deserved to win the right to stage the Games.

ďIn a clear vote for another large emerging market, 41% said the honour should go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, a further 31% said Madrid in Spain, 15% said Tokyo, Japan and 13% favour the city which has been called the front-runner, Chicago, in the United States,Ē said Andrew.


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