In terms of increased brand awareness Chinese sportswear retailer Li Ning was a clear Olympic winner — despite the UDS866 million invested in sponsorship by 12 global brands, including Adidas which is an official Olympic sponsor.
Research from Mediaedge:cia; which commissioned surveys of 1,000 consumers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou before, during, and after the Games; showed consumer's awareness of the Li Ning sportswear brand leap from just 8% in April to 20% during the games. In contrast the brand awareness of Coca Cola less than doubled from 28% to 50%, Adidas climbed from 16% to 38%, and only 17% of those surveyed associated McDonald's with the Beijing Olympics.
Despite having no official Beijing Games sponsor status, Li Ning sponsored the Chinese gymnastics team, and the eponymous founder — an Olympic medalist — was chosen to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony. The resulting jump in brand awareness saw Li Ning's share price rise 6% overnight.