Into the Scenes of China's Craze for Frisbees
According to statistics from BigOne Lab, a Chinese business intelligence research company, China became so obsessed with Ultimate Frisbee during the pandemic that the discs are now one of the three fastest-growing consumer products in the country, only behind COVID products.
Shanghai was the starting point of China's obsession with ultimate Frisbee, sometimes known as ultimate, but the sport is now popular in many other Chinese cities.
Chinese youth's passion for this quick-paced, non-contact sport is seen in the more than 80,000 posts about ultimate on the lifestyle-focused social media platform Xiaohongshu.
Why is this intense activity, which combines aspects of American football and rugby with a frisbee, suddenly becoming popular in this country when it has a history stretching back to American campuses in the 1960s?
Frisbee Caught on the Idea of Socializing
Ultimate frisbee has a lower entry barrier and is more beginner friendly than other popular outdoor sports. Two teams often compete in the game. Players who capture the flying disc in the proper regions must work together with their teammates to score. With benefits like low restrictions on game locations and simple regulations, the sport has sparked a craze that is quickly expanding across towns all across the country.
The typical frisbee outfit in most nations consists of a simple shirt and jogging shorts, topped with gloves and other necessary equipment. However, since influencers embraced the sport after the pandemic, the ultimate frisbee fashion craze in China has elevated frisbee gear to a whole new level. Women arrive at the field wearing color-coordinated clothing, including as biker shorts, tennis skirts, and sun visors, in an effort to ‘keep up with the zones’ and appear as trendy and on-trend as possible.
International and domestic activewear companies have immediately embraced the trend. Outdoor apparel company Patagonia collaborated with Niko to offer a DIY up-cycling workshop where participants manually converted used clothes into stylish frisbee bags. Nike, a well-known sportswear company, featured frisbee in commercials on Xiaohongshu to highlight their newest clothing.
Social media platforms all around the country are actively pursuing the industry in an effort to capitalize on the prospects presented by trendy new sports. Due to widespread commercial marketing, celebrity endorsements, and internet advertising for fashionable material, it has thus become simple for many people to imitate others, especially the younger age.
Since the craze has gained so much attention, the General Administration of Sports of China announced that the first China Frisbee League will debut in August 2022. For fans of Ultimate in China, this, along with the possibility that the sport may be included in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, is very motivating.
First Ever China Frisbee League
In Xi'an, the provincial capital of Shaanxi Province in northwest China, the National Ultimate Frisbee League of China was formally launched.
The competition, which drew about 400 competitors, featured 12 teams and a mixed format with seven players on the field for each squad. The competition is the first-ever Ultimate Frisbee League in the nation.
The League's first match saw Xi'an Physical Education University V7 defeat Xi'an Terra-Cotta Warriors-RJM 9-2. 30 games, including group stage, knockout stage, and final, are scheduled for the two-day event.
Additionally, the organizers have created fan zones for outdoor activities like camping.
Since multiple grassroots Ultimate Frisbee groups and leagues have been lauched since last year, the sport has become extremely popular in China as of 2021.
The State General Administration of Sport agreed to organize the first national league, which will be hosted in more than ten locations from August until 2023 in an effort to encourage and give guidance for the sport's development.
Flying Sales of Frisbees
According to data released by BigOne Lab, which measures sales across China's top e-commerce platforms including Tmall, JD, and Douyin, the frisbee has outperformed sales of other products like liquid coffee, collagen beverages, and cloth diapers in the past six months.
The only products that are now increasing more quickly than frisbees are COVID antigen tests and pulse oximeters.
According to data from BigOne Lab, sales of frisbees have increased by around 700 percent year over year, reaching a peak of over nine million between 2022 and 2023. The disk's sales peaked in August 2022, then slowed down during the winter due to an increase of COVID infections.
Swinging Frisbees into the Future too
In recent years, the Beijing City sub-centre has concentrated on meeting the needs of the public in terms of health and fitness, enhancing the supply of sports facilities through various channels, conducting extensive national physical fitness events, and supporting the rapid growth of the market. With the first Frisbee Open's participation has helped an increasing number of sports fans come to understand, appreciate, and fall in love with the sub.
The five-day open competition is still what keeps Frisbee players laughing today, and it also gave sports, tourism, and athletic events a new opportunity to increase consumer spending. The tiny frisbee grows into a sizable sector, and after it exploded, standing on the wind of the periods, the real challenge had just begun. In the near future, the city says that it will be necessary to step up efforts to support Frisbee, develop an ecological program for competitions, referees, coaches, and instruction, incorporate the provision of ancillary services like venues, equipment, and clothing, and spread awareness of the sport among more people.