With less than a year to go until the 2016 Rio Olympics, several Olympic test events are getting underway. Though Chinese athletes missed some of the competitions, the volunteers and staff wearing uniforms from Chinese sportswear maker 361° makes Chinese people feel like they’re in China.
It takes at least 25 hours to fly from China to Brazil. Since the Rio Olympics are so far from China geographically, Chinese companies such as 361° and Honav have been pouring into Brazil to explore opportunities and try to “shorten the distance” between Rio and China.
Last October, Chinese sportswear company 361° was chosen as an official supplier to the Rio Olympics and will provide more than 106,500 uniforms for technical staff, volunteers, torch relays and test events.
The categories of the Olympics sponsorships from high to low include worldwide partners, official sponsors and official supporters. Before signing the agreement, Rio 2016 spent a year evaluating the production and sustainability standards of 361°. Production of the Rio Olympics uniforms commenced in 2015 with the launch coming the year of the Games.
“With the responsibility of supplying uniforms to the volunteers and staff, which are extremely important groups for us and for the staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are confident that 361° will do a great job in our challenge of delivering excellent and memorable games,” said Rio 2016 Organizing Committee President Carlos Nuzman.
Beijing Huajiang Culture Development Co Ltd (known as Honav), the licensee of lapel pins for the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, has also been named the licensed manufacturer and vendor for both mascots, as well as the official pins for the Rio Olympics. Olympic souvenirs made by Honav have already been unveiled at the official store in Brazil.
Other Chinese companies can also be found involved in the run-up to the Games.
At the construction site of the main Olympic stadium, a variety of heavy machines from Chinese companies Sany, XCMG and Zoomlion are in use. According to Sany, which owns a factory base near Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo, at the beginning of the Rio Olympic Park program, a total of 23 heavy machines were being used, including six diggers and seven road rollers from Sany.
The supply chain for the Rio Olympics has to ensure that 30 million items are available, from ballpoint pens to sports equipment, furniture, horse food and even ships — a variety of articles unparalleled in its scale. The operation includes more than 60,000 square meters of storage space and more than 1,000 outsourced professionals.
Rio 2016 procurement director Fernando Cotrim said that in 2013, Rio’s supply chain team made a special trip to China to discuss the procurement schedule of all materials and services needed. In addition, according to the Chinese Embassy in Brazil, some Chinese companies also came to Rio looking for deals during the preparation stage.
Cotrim said the Games would be a boon to Chinese companies exploring overseas markets and he welcomes cooperation from Chinese companies.
During last year’s Brazil World Cup, China’s Nuctech provided nine of the 12 stadiums with security inspection equipment. En route to the Olympics, Nuctech is preparing to bid on security services again.
“Compared with the World Cup program, our equipment has better quality and is capable of meeting the standards set by the organizers,” said Nuctech Brazil vice -president Yu Ping.
Outside the Olympic stadium, more and more Chinese companies are coming to Brazil. As China’s top air conditioner producer, Gree is among the first Chinese enterprises to set up factories in Brazil. After 15 years of development, Gree has moved into the top three air conditioner producers in Brazil. Gree provided several supporting programs during the Word Cup and has won bids in numerous programs in hotels and airports preparing for the Olympics.
In transportation, the 100 high-speed subway trains produced by Changchun Railway Vehicles Co were completed in Changchun, Jilin province, last month, and will come into service for the Rio Olympics. It will mark the first time that a Chinese train maker has taken part in an Olympic transportation system outside of China.