adidas running

Adidas, which is embarking on a major retail expansion push in China, is teaming up with champion freestyle swimmer Ning Zetao and volleyball star Hui Ruoqi for a new advertising campaign.

The German athletic wear maker said the two young athletes- its two newest brand ambassadors- star in the “One in a Billion” campaign which aims to “boost creativity in sport”. Adidas is aiming to become China’s number one sports brand by 2020. Already the company has 10,000 stores across China- it plans to open 2,000 more by 2020. Adidas said it did 2.5 billion euros, or $2.61 billion, worth of sales in 2015.

Ning Zetao was the first Asian to win a gold medal in 100-meter freestyle at the World Championships- the athlete and his well-chiseled abs became a social media darlings. Hui Ruoqi was captain of the China women’s volleyball team, which won gold at last year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Hui made headlines for participating in the games just a year after undergoing heart surgery- she trained for the Olympics for just nine months and made a remarkable comeback, according to the Olympics’ official website.

Hui Ruoqi stars in Adidas' latest campaign for China

Hui Ruoqi stars in Adidas’ latest campaign for China  Geoff Mau Photo inc.

“The two represent not only success in sports, but also stand out for their individuality as stars of the post-90s generation,” Adidas said.

The new campaign is the latest China-focused initiative for Adidas. Earlier this year, the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company struck a deal with Chinese Wanda Group to develop soccer and basketball programs in China. David Beckham also inaugurated the world’s first Adidas soccer store at Teemall, in the city of Guangzhou.

“Creativity is the core of our business and part of everything we do. We remain strongly committed to working closely with our ever-expanding portfolio of sports assets to accelerate the pace of sport development nationwide and inspire more Chinese to embrace their individuality through sport,” said Colin Currie, managing director of Adidas Group for Greater China.