Athletic Wear:U.S & China Hub: Rebecca Cohn. Jessica Brost. Sophie Auerswald.


  • Athletic wear market: expected to grow 23% by 2020
  • Athletic wear market is a step behind U.S
  • Chinese consumers are heavy social media users and purchase more from smartphones than western consumers
Top athletic wear brands in China
How Athleisure has Evolved from the Athletic Wear Industry in the U.S:

What is "Athleisure"?

Global fashion trend: sportswear clothing designed for workouts which can ALSO be worn in non-athletic settings like during work, casual or even social occasions.

Gaining popularity worldwide: consumers started to recognize that sportswear can be well-designed and fashionable at the same time.

Nike: USA
Adidas: USA
Adidas over past year
1 year ago-today
Athletic wear industry in China:
Factors contributing to athletic wear market growth:
  • Rising awareness of health
  • Chinese government encouraging healthy lifestyle and investing in domestic sports markets
  • Rising Chinese middle class & willingness to pay for higher quality, newness, and lifestyle products
  • Traditional Chinese Ideals about beauty are changing
  • Global athleisure trend
Fitness is the New Black: How Major Sportswear Brands are Riding the Chinese Workout Trend (Lab Brand, 2016)
Nike's "Better for it" ad: meant to spark women's interest in sports w/ relatable ad about the love hate relationship with working out. ADIDAS "All in for my girls" campaign: fitness in the context of fun and entertaining way to spend time with friends. Female consumer has become more sophisticated and is also interested in tracking performance and achieving results
Potential with Chinese Female Consumer
  • Rate of female employment is historically high
  • 38% of those currently employed have high level job titles
  • Woman has purchasing power within households
  • Trend curve:
What Will the Female Chinese Athletic Wear Consumer Want Next?

We must recognize that the Chinese female consumer is slightly different:

  • Chinese luxury consumer is significantly younger than the western luxury consumer, and has on average a lower income than the western luxury consumer.
  • Which demonstrates a high willingness to pay and that importance is placed on luxury brands.
  • Growing middle class & increased willingness to pay for high quality, newness, and lifestyle products


Continue to support the athletic consumer and prepare to meet her athleisure needs
  • Collaborations with luxury brands
  • Market the quality of the products
  • Use Chinese names in marketing (search volume is 13% higher)
  • Utilize Chinese social media channels (only 39% of Western luxury brands have accounts)
  • Utilize Chinese social media influencers rather than celebrities

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