The Miami Heat are following the lead of its star Dwyane Wade in entering a partnership deal with Chinese sportswear and athletic shoe company Li-Ning.
The partnership is part of a comprehensive marketing program to support Wade, the new athletic footwear and apparel collection that the guard announced with Li-Ning during the Heat’s recent exhibition tour in China.
Heat executives also took advantage of the exhibition tour to strengthen their marketing ties with China.
“We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the works. It was a productive trip,” Eric Woolworth, Heat president of business operations said after the China tour. “It will end up playing dividends for us for sure.”
The Lin-Ning deal is the first manifestation of that. The partnership provides Li-Ning with in-arena signage at AmericanAirlines Arena and other advertising assets on Heat properties, including Heat.com and the team’s TV broadcasts on Sun Sports. Li-Ning products, including WADE branded merchandise, will be sold at the arena in 2013.
“The Li-Ning brand represents both style and substance and is therefore a welcome addition to the Miami Heat family of partners,” said Woolworth said in a statement Monday. “We’re eager to help introduce Li-Ning to Heat fans everywhere and we are confident their new collection of Wade merchandise will have a very broad appeal.”
Li-Ning. Based in Beijing, is one of the leading sports brand companies in China, mainly providing sporting goods including footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for professional and leisure purposes.
“We are very excited to be the latest all-star to join the roster of the Miami Heat and help support the team’s journey to another NBA championship,” said Brian Cupps, director of brand initiatives for basketball at Li-Ning. “The Heat offer an amazing platform on which to engage with fans who will love our upcoming Wade merchandise.”