JD Sports is a new entrant into China’s rapidly growing sports market. In 2017, JD Sports had only a 24% percent market share compared to rival Tmall’s 51%. The brand wanted a way to increase awareness of its offering, while driving sales for its heavily promoted JD Sports Super Category Day.


Even with ongoing government support, the per-capita consumption in the sports category in China is only 10% of the global average. One of the reasons is “pseudo-sports” behaviors, or the use of sports apparel as fashion rather than function. According to a 2018 Sohu Data report, an increasing number of people are getting gym memberships, but their frequency of going to the gym remains low. Some of them even spend more time posting workout photos online than actually working out, seeing sports as an important part of their image, but not their daily routine..


To increase consumers’ brand awareness and preference for JD Sports, we launched the "Sports, not for sports.” The campaign took a strong stand against “pseudo-sports” behaviors and called for a more pure enthusiasm for sports, enabling JD Sports to build a professional brand image with raw emotional power.

The multi-channel campaign included video placements on popular video sharing sites; a subway poster campaign in the subway; partnerships with leading sports brands to promote the “#sports not for sports” hashtag on WeChat and Weibo; and a pop-up shop store at the Taiyuan Marathon, one of the largest sporting events in China.


The campaign was hugely successful at establishing JD Sports as a major player in Chinese sports. The eye-popping metrics included:

  • 634 million total impressions in one month.

  • 220 million video views on

  • 250 million views of subway posters

  • 7 million visitors to the pop-up stores shop

Best of all, on Sep.11th, the 2018 JD Sports Super Category Day, the total sales volume on the platform increased by 500% year -over -year.