November 27, 2012, 4:28 PM

Li-Ning.com: East meets West

Li-Ning.com takes on U.S. e-commerce.

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In China, Li-Ning hardly needs an introduction. Founded by a gymnast who became a national hero after winning six medals in the 1984 Olympic Games, it’s now the No. 2 sports apparel and shoe brand in China, after Nike. But in tests conducted among American consumers ahead of the launch of a U.S. e-commerce site, it had zero recognition. Ray Grady of Acquity Group, the digital marketing firm that operates the site for Li-Ning, says that means it has to build the brand from the ground up. “We have to be storytellers as well as e-commerce practitioners,” Grady says. Consumers exploring the site can learn about Li-Ning’s heritage and its increasingly international outlook. That includes a new product line created with basketball star Dwyane Wade, who now acts as its global spokesman.

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