Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning buys Bored Ape license to create NFT themed products

Beijing-based Li Ning licensed Bored Ape Yacht Club #4102 and will release a clothing line featuring images of the NFT with all derivative open rights
April 29, 2022 - Cynthia Chung

Chinese sportswear and gear founded by Olympian champion Li Ning licenses Bored Ape Yacht Club to use in its upcoming product designs. The company will release products to feature the BAYC #4102 avatar with a fashion twist, including BAYC themed t-shirts and caps. 


“We invited Bored Ape Yacht Club, a famous family from Web3.0, number #4102 BAYC, as the fashion store manager of the Li Ning pop-up store.” as announced on Li Ning’s Weibo account on Sunday. 


The company will also showcase the BAYC avatar in a series of merchandise in a Beijing pop-up store on April 28 as a metaverse-style venue.

This collection marks another brand entering the NFT space. Previously, Chinese sportswear Anta, which was an official partner of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Anta released a series of digital collectibles featuring China’s national athletic team. Among other Chinese artists and brands who have launched successful NFT collections include TaMen, Qi Baishi and more. Yet, Li Ning made it as the first Chinese brand to license BAYC. 

According to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week, Li Ning recorded an annual increase of nearly 30% in retail sales in Q1, 2022. 

On March 24, Yuga Labs, the parent company of NFT brand Bored Ape Yacht Club, announced that it had raised a $450 million seed round from venture capital firm a16z at a valuation of $4 billion .

Brands are taking advantage of the benefits of holding a BAYC commercial license and leverage on the opportunity to collaborate and build their brand connected to the blue-chip NFT. BAYC licensed brands and artists include Siempre Spirits, DJ Duo Escape Plan and Bored and Hungry restaurant. 


Photo: Li Ning


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