Anta, the premiere Chinese athletic brand, is one of the largest athletic brands the world has yet to discover. With a market value of $3.87billion USD in 2014, Anta became the 5th largest sporting goods company (in terms of market value) in the world, after Nike, Adidas, Puma and Asics. Boasting over 8,000 stores distributed across China, Anta sells tens of millions of pairs of shoes each year.
Since 2008, Concept 21 has been a strategic partner of Anta, providing a full spectrum of services including design, brand strategy, and innovation services. Each quarter Concept 21 meets with the leadership team to review initiatives and set high-level direction as part of C21’s brand strategy services. Concept 21’s main goal with regards to brand strategy is to position Anta as a more internationally competitive brand. This is being achieved strategically through a number of measures: A quarterly and annual in-depth international trend analysis, creation and operation a US-based design school to broaden Anta’s design team capabilities, and an internal corporate restructuring to allow product teams to be more agile. As a result, Anta has become the number one athletic company in China.
Concept 21 also plays a significant role in Anta’s basketball program. This includes managing the relationship with their NBA sponsored athletes as well as designing and developing athlete’ footwear models for Kevin Garnett, Klay Thompson, Rajon Rondo, Chandler Parsons, and Luis Scola.
In 2013, Concept 21 secured and managed the NBA mark for use in the China market through Anta. This required the development of an intensive product strategy, as well as the design of entire line of product. Concept 21 also leads the innovation process for the company by bringing cutting edge technology from the industry to the brand. This included the introduction and implementation of new design processes, manufacturing processes, and materials.
The strategic partnership between Concept 21 and Anta has proved both lucrative and inspiring, opening doors for the brand to diversify its offering and expand into the international market in the strongest position possible.