IN 235 DAYS FROM HAMBURG TO SHANGHAI ON FOOT — SUPPORTING AN INSPIRING RUNNER, THE SPORTS BRAND 361° MAKES A LIFELONG DREAM COME TRUE.
Amsterdam, January 2017 — 235 days, 8 countries, 12.000 km — those are the numbers, and they represent Kai Markus and his ambitious plan to run from Hamburg to Shanghai. Starting in March, the race is on, and Kai enters his personal adventure. The project will be promoted on every relevant social media channel via @runmysilkroad, and it is not just about top athletic performances. It also supports the task to connect the German and Chinese culture in a special way. Above the essential will and discipline, you need the right equipment to realize this enthusiastic endeavor. That is why 361°, the brand with roots in China, will support Kai Markus by providing him with sports gear and equipment he needs for the preparation and realization of the project.
With his run, Kai Markus wants to build the cultural bridge between Germany and China and take down prejudices. 361° is happy to support this mission. “We are very proud that Kai trusts our brand and products for his eager project. For the quality of our products, we couldn’t ask for a bigger compliment“ says Jurian Elstgeest, General Manager Europe. 361° will already provide Kai and his team with an equipment package during the preparation phase. Besides running shoes, it contains the appropriate apparel and accessories like socks and caps. The company will also
make sure that he has all the needed materials and equipment, even if it is not produced by 361°. For that, it will connect him with additional cooperation partners and also help to organize the trip. “I’m very glad that my wish to be sponsored by a Chinese brand like 361° came true. Having 361° as my official supporter on board, I can focus on my run with all I have. This unburdens my preparations in a huge way,“ says Kai Markus happily. For preparations — including the test run from Hamburg to Nuremberg — and his start in Hamburg, he is in close interchange with the 361° Europe team. Except for the sports gear and equipment, the Chinese parent enterprise will also help with administrative issues, including fly his family and friends to Shanghai for welcoming Kai when he runs through the finish line.
The motivated runner already built a bridge before the starting line of his project: The sponsoring of the @runmysilkroad run is the first big project in which the in other respects separated company sections — the parent enterprise with headquarters in China and the international department that team Europe belongs to — are both integrated. “Being an international company with Chinese roots, the project immediately fascinated us. We are very looking forward to supporting Kai Markus together with our colleagues from Europe and contributing this cultural connection between China and Germany,“ explains Otto Lin, general manager of the overseas division.
In 2017, 361° wants to reinforce the brand’s publicity outside of Asia with an international marketing initiative. “With his endeavor, Kai embodies the motto of our campaign ‘Beyond your expectations’ like nobody else, and he shows that a strong will can let you do things that are far beyond of what you can imagine,“ Johanna Meyer-Staude, marketing manager of 361° Europe complements.
361 Degrees International Limited — 361° in short — was founded in 2003 in Chinese Jianjing, and is known to be the runner up to the biggest supplier of high-quality sporting goods in the home market of China. After the successful establishment in the USA and Brazil, the sports giant launched a branch for the European market in Amsterdam in September 2016. The products for the international market are developed in the 361° overseas division in Changhua Province in the west of Taiwan that was founded in 2013. The team under the leadership of Otto Lin, general manager of the overseas division, and a shoe branch veteran consists of 40 experts in the fields of design, development and sale in the categories sports performance footwear and apparel. Further information on 361°: www.361europe.com
ABOUT KAI MARKUS AND @RUNMYSILKROAD
The native-born Bavarian Kai Markus (44) lives and trains in Hamburg since 2001. Early on, his life was shaped by sports, and his time spent in convent schools earned him a strength of will and perseverance. After a bank apprenticeship, and his further education to become a business administrator, he started his own business in 2008 and worked as a finance service provider and consultant for educational projects. He already had first connections to China in school, and also later on in his working life. Several visits to China increased his interest in the Chinese culture and 2015, he had the idea to connect his passion for China with running. In 2016, the plans with supporting sponsors of the project @runmysilkroad became concrete. In March 2017, he will start his run, during which Kai Markus will cover the distance of 12,000 km between Hamburg and Shanghai, aiming to finish in 235 days. Further information on the project: www.runmysilkroad.com