In 2012, K-BOXING, the Chinese top-tier menswear manufacturer, struck a strategic partnership deal with Yutang Sports, the premier sports marketing platform in the country.
This deal saw the clothing brand uncover its “Snooker Brand Marketing Season”，highlighted by a logo patch on the waistcoats of three top-class players - Mark Selby，Judd Trump and Ronnie O'Sullivan.
The K-BOXING Snooker Branding Campaign became known for its multi-level marketing, creative ideas and lasting impression. It is more a long-term marketing strategy than an occasional marketing action.
The Snooker marketing strategy did well in helping K-BOXING to increase brand exposure, improve brand image and enhance brand recognition. It is certainly an inspiring story in which sports marketing is the key to the successful transition of a brand.
Judd Trump, Mark Selby & Ronnie O'Sullivan
The reasons why K-BOXING chose Snooker are as follows:
1. With the increasing number of Snooker fans in China, the broadcast frequency of Snooker matches on CCTV 5 ranked third only to football and basketball in the 2014/15 season.
China held four international Snooker events in that season. High ratings were essential for brand exposure and more widespread publicity.
2. K-BOXING’s products fit perfectly into the dress requirements of snooker tournaments, which makes it easy for consumers to associate the two. More importantly, the virtues shown in Snooker, like honour, gentleness and elegance, are exactly what K-BOXING believes in.
Built around values of confidence, masculinity and specialisation, the sportswear company added fashion and elegance to enrich its brand association.
The 18 contenders
3. Most Snooker viewers are target customers for K-BOXING men’s wear. In terms of age distribution, most Snooker viewers are young men between 26 to 35, accounting for more than 50% of the total figure. When it comes to income level, at least 50% of all Snooker viewers live on a monthly income of over RMB 5,000.
The viewership study once again drew the same conclusion: Snooker is a sport that coincides with K-BOXING’s mid to high-end position and price range. In other words, the brand benefits from the co-operation in terms of precision marketing and the return on investment.
Age distribution & income level of Snooker viewership
Highlights of K-BOXING Snooker Branding Campaign
1. Diversified ads and brand exposure
In addition to the logo patch on three players’ waistcoats, K-BOXING was able to greatly improve its brand visibility on CCTV 5, through screen advertising during live broadcasts, title sponsorship to an event, an archive programme and a regular on-screen display of the slogan “K-BOXING Sponsors Snooker Tournaments”.
(Screen advertising during live broadcast /Title sponsorship to Precise Moment /Corner sign advertisement)
K-BOXING advertisement on CCTV 5
2. Creative content
The slogan“K-BOXING Moments with the Masters” was brought forward to connect the brand image with great performances from Snooker Masters. Meanwhile, endorsement commercials were launched to promote the sportswear brand.
K-BOXING Moments with the Masters
3. Promotional activities
The three image ambassadors were invited to present at major promotional activities, including the likes of 2012 “K-BOXING Fashion Show·Fall/Winter Collection” and 2013 “K-BOXING Fall/Winter Fashion Show”. Those activities created an extraordinary amount of buzz in the sportswear industry.
4. Lasting impression
It has been four years since K-BOXING launched the Snooker Branding Campaign. The continuous investment has created an unusual and far-reaching impact on the development of the sportswear company. The strategic partnership has seen an increase in K-BOXING’s competitiveness and market share.
Proofread by John Devlin