The power of brands

Sir Martin Sorrell

The image has a painterly quality. Against a glowering sky, an ecstatic crowd of sports fans celebrates an unseen triumph. Some of the young men punch the air, others scream with joy, yet more raise wordless scarlet banners. The work – promoting sportswear – is sharp, memorable, brilliantly composed. It could be Nike, Reebok or Puma. But the company is ANTA, based in Jinjiang, in southern China. Not heard of it yet? You will.

ANTA's slogan is 'Keep Moving'. And so it is, leading the next generation of Chinese companies beyond efficient, low-cost manufacturing and on to the subtleties of branding.

ANTA, best known for its athletic shoes, sponsors American basketball stars. Its trademark is among the most recognised in China. The company has 4,000 stores in the country and its dynamic 36-year-old boss Ding Zhizhong is hailed as a visionary. His vision? To make ANTA one of the world's top ten sports companies by 2011.