Flagship Chinese Sports Brand Li-Ning Pokes Fun at Customs Snafu in New Web Short

Dec 01, 2010, 07:03 ET from Zambezi

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Li-Ning, a China-based sports and fitness giant with US headquarters in Portland, had a little problem importing its latest breakthrough sneaker. Shipments of the single-mold, foam frame, waterproof, F2 shoe were held up by US Customs and Border Protection -- delaying their launch in America. Demonstrating a healthy sense of humor, Li-Ning this week released a humorous digital film entitled "Strange Customs," executed by LA-based creative agency Zambezi. The film can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5MWk3qtflE

Conspiracy theories abound as to the reason for the F2's delay in customs. Did the radical design of the F2 cause inspectors to think the product was something more nefarious than shoes?  Could it have been pressure from sneaker competitors?

The :90 web film explores these possibilities in over-the-top-fashion, as a pair of bungling agents from the imagined "Special Interrogations Unit" proceed to grill a fictional Li-Ning representative at a clandestine facility in Portland. "Everyone loves a good interrogation scene," said Zambezi co-Founder and Creative Director Brian Ford.

"This film isn't of the Jack Bauer torture variety, but there is plenty of verbal abuse. And considering how tight airport security is these days, it's a ripe topic to satirize."

The film stars Donnell Rawlings, a comic best known for recurring characters on Chappelle's Show, and Gerry Bednob, of "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story."

The F2 sneaker features a full chassis of injection molded material creating one-piece construction for lightweight, durable performance and seamless fit. It's available for running, basketball, and cross-training. "The F2 represents a new breed of technology which combines truly unique design and performance benefits -- at an affordable price," said Rick Soberanis, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Li-Ning North America. The F2 shoes can be purchased at http://www.li-ningusa.com/ or at Li-Ning's retail space at 916 NW Hoyt Street in Portland.

Li-Ning Sports is a rising global athletic brand headquartered in Beijing. Li-Ning's US headquarters is in Portland and primary product categories include Basketball, Running, Lifestyle, Table Tennis and Badminton. NBA athletes such as Evan Turner, Baron Davis, and Shaquille O'Neal -- and the USA Table Tennis and Diving Teams -- wear and endorse Li-Ning products.

Venice, CA-based independent Zambezi is a full-service ad agency with an expertise in sports and entertainment brands. Zambezi clients include vitaminwater, NESTEA, smartwater, the Portland Trail Blazers, 2K Sports, Comcast, the NBA on TNT, and the LA Lakers. Contact 310.450.6800 or visit http://www.zambezi-la.com

Media contact: Emily Petterson



SOURCE Zambezi