Salomon is taking its sponsorship program one step further in the Chinese market by financing and training the entire Chinese National Alpine Ski team. The idea behind this financial commitment is to “create a hero” for the 1.3 billion person potential marketplace in China. This is one step in adidas-Salomons plan to generate 1 billion in annual revenue from the Asian market in the next decade.
The company said that it has plans to “nurture a champ that wears Salomon skis,” in order to establish itself as the number one brand in the market. The project is being undertaken by Salomon Japan and has an annual budget of ¥30 million ($286,000). Over the next four years adidas-Salomon said that it expects to generate 2 billion in sales from the Chinese market.
According to local Japanese papers, Salomon currently only sells about 2,000 pairs of skis in China, and most Chinese consider owning skis to be a luxury. 95% of resort visitors in China rent their skis. This is not to say that the sport is not growing; it is and rapidly. Since 1996 the number of ski slopes open for business in China has increased from 11 to 187 today.