Lotto Sport Italia will participate in the first Ispo China fair to be held from 14 to 17 March 2005 in Shanghai. Lotto will be showcasing a selection of its most representative footwear and apparel collections for soccer and tennis as well as for leisure. At the fair, the company will also participate in “Play Italia – Italian Sports Gallery of Excellence”, presented by the Association of Italian sporting goods companies, Assosport.

The trade show will provide sports, fashion and lifestyle brands a platform to start up or intensify business in China and Asia. The presence of Lotto at the fair is part of a larger and multi-faceted strategy aimed at re-launching the brand in China.

China is undoubtedly renowned as the world’s biggest and fastest growing consumer market. With a population of 1.3 billion and living standards rising, consumer demand is steadily on the increase. The sports consumer market will be particularly interesting in the future, considering also the forthcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, which will be Asia’s biggest-ever sporting event. Today, the branded sports market amounts to approx. 1,5 billion euro and is expected to grow by 40 % a year. Lotto Sport Italia recognizes China as a key market in its worldwide business development and has therefore decided to reshape its distribution in the land of the Great Wall.

The licensing agreement with Lightening Star Corporation for China, Macau and Hong Kong has terminated. A new trading company-a subsidiary of Lotto Sport Hong Kong – will be established and control two companies that will have their headquarters in Shanghai and Nanjing.
The Shanghai company will take care of the distribution of Lotto products on the Chinese market. A first step will be the opening of 10 Lotto flagship stores in China’s major cities by the end of September 2005. It will also be in charge of identifying new partners who will operate as franchisees for stand-alone shops, shop-in-shops and corners inside department stores and shopping malls. The Nanjing-based company will run sourcing activities to efficiently support the distribution network.

As far as the product strategy is concerned, the collections will have a sporty style representing a true fusion of sport authenticity and street style, inspired by Lotto’s close ties with sport and its core-businesses of football and tennis. An unprecedented amount of resources will be invested by Lotto in the coming years with the goal of playing a key role in the sporting goods arena of this major market.