Lotto Sport Italia has signed a 20-year partnership agreement with the Chinese Li Ning Company Ltd., for the production and distribution of the Lotto brand products in China. The agreement will take effect in September.
With headquarters in Beijing and offices and logistics centres throughout China, Li Ning Company was named after its founder and famous gymnast, who won one Bronze, three Gold and two Silver  medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Li Ning is ranked third  among Chinese sports brands. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2004, the company’s sales rose 36.7% to 400 million euro in 2007. Li Ning is aiming to exceed sales of 600 million euro in 2008. 
Li Ning already dominates the medium-band sports market with its own brand and will partner with Lotto to become dominant on the high end.
With the exceptions of Hong Kong and Macau, where Lotto will continue to distribute its own products through its subsidiary Lotto Sport H.K. Ltd., the new agreement involves the retailing of Lotto’s products in monobrand stores and counters in the most prestigious department stores of China’s largest cities.
“We have obviously set ambitious turnover goals and expect to reach overall sales for more than 60 million euro in 2013 through at least 600 monobrand Lotto stores around the country,” said Andrea Tomat, president and CEO for Lotto Sport Italia. “China represents a key market for all companies so it is naturally at the centre of Lotto’s worldwide expansion activities. We found the Li Ning proposal immediately very interesting due to the company’s importance in China, its growth strategy, excellent organisation, and the high quality of its management.

“Our direct presence in the Asian market through the “Lotto China Ltd.” joint-venture enabled us to impress upon local operators just how big our own brand’s growth potential is in China. We therefore received proposals from several leading companies of the industry and at the end have chosen the number one: the partner with the strongest and best-prepared structure. It’s a partnership from which we expect extraordinary drive for Lotto’s presence not only in China but right across Asia.” 
Li Ning was established in 1990 and is today China’s third largest sports brand with more than 1.300 employees. As of December 2007, the Li Ning brand was distributed through 5,.233 stores in China, out of which about 5.000 are franchise operations and the remaining are directly operated. Sales by product category are divided into: 51% clothing, 42.7% footwear and 6.3% accessories. Li Ning is a sponsor, among others, of the national basketball teams of Spain and Argentina, of Shaquille ONeal and China’s national gymnastics and diving squads.  
With headquarters in the Italian shoe district of Montebelluna, Veneto region, Lotto Sport Italia is the leading Italian company in the production and distribution of sports footwear, clothing and accessories. The company’s products are distributed in over 80 countries worldwide through independent sporting goods stores, specialised chain-stores, large stores with specialized sports departments, and in over 300 monobrand stores. In 2007, its sales rose 8% to 300 million euro. It derives 44% of sales fromfootwear, 50% from clothing and 6% from accessories.