13 April 2021, Hong Kong – Leading PRC-based professional sportswear enterprise Xtep International Holdings Limited (“Xtep” or the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) (Stock code: 1368.HK) achieved a leap in the wear rate of participants who finished within three hours in the highly anticipated Xiamen Marathon running event on 10 April, and Xtep ranked first among domestic and international running shoe brands. It was the first time that the wear rate of a domestic brand had surpassed international brands. Furthermore, with Xtep’s state-of-the-art technology, its "160X PRO" professional running shoe enabled runners to win the championship in the Xuzhou Marathon, held on 11 April.
With the increasing awareness of public health in China, coupled with the trend of “China chic” (國潮), more runners tend to wear running shoes from domestic brands during competitions. According to data from Joyrun, among the participants who completed the Xiamen Marathon within three hours in 2021, 51% wore the Xtep “160X” running shoe collection (2019: 4.2%), which was far higher than other domestic and international brands. This represented a leap in growth in the percentage of participants opting to wear Xtep’s running shoes in the competition in two years. In addition, seven of the top nine runners in the Xuzhou Marathon were wearing Xtep’s signature running shoe, the “160X PRO”, including Peng Jianhua, Yang Shaohui, and Dong Guojian; the champion, first runner-up, and second runner-up of the marathon respectively. All three of them successfully obtained the eligibility for marathon courses at the Tokyo Olympics wearing the “160X PRO”. It is also worth mentioning that Xtep celebrated 26 championships in marathons and running events with eight sponsored athletes who wore the “160X” shoe in 2020. Together with the outstanding achievements at the Xuzhou Marathon, these are persuasive testimonials of the Group’s topnotch technology and dedicated efforts to enable professional athletes to surpass previous speeds.
As major domestic race events, both marathons have attracted significant attention. In 2021, the Xiamen Marathon has been officially upgraded to a World Platinum Label Race and is a certified event by the Chinese Athletic Association, representing one of the top marathons in the world. Futhermore, the Xuzhou Marathon, which was organized by the China Athletics Association, acted as the National Marathon Championships’ Xuzhou Station and the Olympic Trials. Since its establishment, Xtep has focused on running with the aim of promoting public health. The Group began sponsoring marathons in 2007 and has shown a continued commitment to supporting marathon events for the last 14 years, with its presence visible at all major marathon events. As the sports brand with the largest number of marathon sponsors in Mainland China, Xtep sponsored over 1,000 marathon events and activities with participants exceeding 5 million as of 2020. It has remained in prime position among the domestic brands in international class marathons in Mainland China.
Mr. Ding Shui Po, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xtep International Holdings Limited, said, “We have upheld the same philosophy over the years. We believe that an industry or a brand must have its own core competitiveness, whereby a sportswear brand needs to strive to be the best in a specific field. We have worked hard on brand building in running for years. In December 2019, we joined hands with the Chinese Athletic Association to implement the “Xtep China speed” strategy and become leaders in promoting running culture and marathon events in China. The several strategy transformations reflected our efforts to reshape our nature and also aspirations for the marathon sport in China. We are thrilled to see domestic brands assuming a crucial role in marathons, as that not only means recognition for Xtep, but also signs that dosmentic brands are gaining public attention nationwide. In the future, we will continue our investment in running to improve the level of marathons in China, as well as to step up R&D and product innovation. With a two-pronged strategy focused on product upgrades and marketing initiatives, we will continue to promote the advancement of China’s running sector. At the same time, we will continue to focus on our business development and step up efforts to realize the full potential of the five brands in our portfolio. By drawing on the strong synergies of the brands, we will seize the tremendous opportunities in the market and keep fortifying our market leadership.”
1 Source: public information from Joyrun
2 Source: public information from Runtrail
2 Source: public information from Runtrail