Nike Turns China's 'Flying Man' Into Comic Book Hero

Website and Short Film Featuring Liu Xiang by Wieden, Shanghai

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SHANGHAI ( – Chinese sports fans have already dubbed Liu Xiang the "flying man," but Nike is transforming the track-and-field champion into an actual superhero.

The American sportswear giant has created an interactive comic book dedicated to Liu Xiang and linked to its Nike Sports Wear line.

Published at and developed with Wieden + Kennedy, Shanghai, the online comic book's story--Nike's first for a Chinese athlete--is based on Liu Xiang's day dreams.

Everyone in China is familiar with the Olympic champion, "but there is more to Liu Xiang than people know about," said Kel Hook, W+K's managing director, China. "The interactive online comic book [shows] other sides of Liu Xiang."

Nike started promoting the online comic book and an animated short film this month with print, out-of-home and in-store ads and online on sites like, Tencent's,,, and The book and film were animated by illustrator Anthony Francisco Schepperd.

The comic book is targeted at the Nike brand's "sweet spot," Chinese teenagers, said Jeanne Huang, Nike's Communications Director in Shanghai.

Chinese teens are "always online, with information at their fingertips. They're actively engaged with their friends on communities, enabled by technology. They live on-demand lives, [which is] reshaping the landscape of how you connect with youth."

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