On the Heels of Kyrie Irving Deal, Anta Reports Record Revenues in 2023

Anta Sports reported record sales for fiscal 2023 on Tuesday, with all of the company’s business segments reporting increases.

According to the Chinese sports company, overall revenue increased 16.2 percent to a record 62.36 billion Chinese yuan ($8.63 billion based on current exchange) from 53.65 billion yuan in 2022.

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The company’s namesake brand saw revenues increase 9.3 percent in 2023 to 30.31 billion yuan, with direct-to-consumer sales overtaking wholesale at Anta. The company noted that Anta’s DTC segment represents 56 percent of the brand’s business and increased 2.4 percent year-over-year to 17 billion yuan.

Anta reported that revenue for its Fila franchise — which includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao — increased 16.6 percent over last year to 25.10 billion yuan in 2023. Total revenue of all other brands, which include Decente and Kolon Sport, surged by 57.7 percent year-on-year to 6.95 billion yuan.

Kyrie Irving Anta Kai 1 Kaiverse
Kyrie Irving’s Anta Kai 1 “Kaiverse” will be the second colorway of his new signature sneaker to release. Image via Getty

Amer Sports, which Anta owns a 46 percent stake in, reported revenues of 31.25 billion yuan ($4.37 billion) for the year, an increase of 30.1 percent from 2022.

The Finnish company, which includes the Salomon, Arc’Teryx, Wilson, Peak Performance and Atomic brands, raised $1.37 billion its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) in January, a total that fell short of its projected $1.8 billion. 2023 revenues for Amer’c technical apparel group, which includes Arc’teryx, were $1.59 billion. Revenues for outdoor performance, which includes the Salomon brand, were $1.66 billion. Ball and Racquet Sports revenues were $1.1 billion.

Lai Shixian, executive director and co-chief executive officer of Anta Sports, said in a statement that the company “firmly adhering” to its development strategy of “single-focus, multi-brand, globalization,” which aims to continuously exploring the path of globalization through its brand development and retail.

The Anta Kai 1 in a purple and pink “Artist on the Court” colorway. <cite>Courtesy</cite>
The Anta Kai 1 in a purple and pink “Artist on the Court” colorway. Courtesy

“The multi-brand approach aligns with the diverse consumer demands in the multi-level and full range of scenarios in the Chinese sportswear market, instilling us with confidence in the future prospects of the Chinese market and the Group’s development,” Shixian said.

The co-CEO also touted that Chinese athletes will once again compete in Anta at the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer, while the company works to continue to strengthen its core multi-brand synergistic management capabilities, multi-brand retail operations capability and global operations and resources deployment capability.

“We are committed to creating value for consumers through focusing on differentiated brand positioning,” Shixian said. “We are making Anta Sports a global name with a vision to become a leading multi-brand sportswear group in the world.”

Kyrie Irving, ANTA, basketball, collaboration, sneakers
Kyrie Irving has inked a new extensive deal with Anta. Courtesy of ANTA

These results follow a big year for Anta after signing Kyrie Irving in July after Nike ended its relationship with the NBA star in late 2022 because of his promotion of a film featuring antisemitic views. Irving held out on denouncing antisemitism for days and only apologized following a suspension from the Brooklyn Nets, his team prior to being traded to the Mavericks.

The Anta deal sees Irving serving as the brand’s creative officer of basketball, a role that will see him recruit other basketball players, as well as collaborators and entertainment figures.

Irving started the NBA season sporting the Anta Shock Wave 5 Pro, showcasing Anta’s latest flagship product. Irving’s first signature shoe with Anta, the Anta Kai 1, released earlier this month in a purple and pink “Artist on the Court” colorway. A second colorway, dubbed the “Kaiverse,” has also been spotted.

On the company’s earnings call this week, the Shixian noted that the Anta brand sold over 25 million pairs of basketball sneakers in 2023.

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