Nike recently announced plans to collaborate with the Chinese Ministry of Education on training over 7,000 gym teachers at 300 schools across China over the next three years. The new agreement is a product of the China-US Cultural Exchange event earlier this month, which is sponsored by Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and United States Secretary of State John Kerry.
Under the agreement, Nike and China’s Ministry of Education will work together to help develop “the culture of sport and physical activity in schools across China.” The plan demonstrates the American athletic brand’s commitment to get more than two million kids active across China.
“Today’s generation of children is the least physically active in history and we can help change that,” explained Nike CEO, Mark Parker. “Nike has always believed in the power of sport to unleash human potential. We know that active kids are happier, healthier and more successful. That’s why we’re partnering with China’s Ministry of Education to create more opportunities for China’s kids to move before, during and after school.”
Nike said they will train as many as 7,000 future Physical Education(PE) teachers on how to best deliver quality and engaging sports lessons for the country’s youth, while providing best-in-class coaching and PE resources for more than 300 Chinese schools. The company will also work closely with campus basketball and soccer school leagues.
Nike’s recent commitment builds upon a previously established three-year partnership between the brand and China’s Ministry of Education, which has already successfully stimulated change in Chinese school’s physical education programs. Over the last three years, Nike has created China’s first soccer-specific physical education curriculum for primary schools and trained more than 3,400 PE teachers across the country, with Nike stating that they have already helped impact the lives of more than 800,000 Chinese youths.
The newly expanded agreement reflects Nike’s ongoing global efforts at getting kids more active and reversing physical inactivity trends. The Oregon-based company already sponsors more than 100 different colleges and universities in the United States, as well as hundreds of sports teams around the world, including the Chinese national football team.
Nike’s growing presence is China is also partly contributed to the country’s skyrocketing fitness industry as more Chinese are becoming interested in getting healthier. China Daily reported that sales for China’s fitness industry as a whole increased 84% from 2009 to 2014, and global sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas are looking to capitalize on the trend. Last year alone, Adidas opened more than 500 stores in Greater China and they plan on opening an additional 500 stores by the end of 2016.
The seventh annual China-US Cultural Exchange event in Beijing, China, took place June 6 – June 7, during which time a number of other agreements were established on topics including visual arts, education, science and domestic violence. The program was originally created “to deepen ties between the citizens of the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the areas of culture, education, science and technology, sports, women’s issues, and health.”