Wang Deshun, nicknamed "China's Hottest Grandpa," became an instant star after baring his super-ripped torso on the runway at Beijing Fashion Week in 2015. Now he's 80, and Reebok hired him as a brand ambassador.
Mr. Wang, an actor and occasional model, explained at an event at a Beijing gym and cross-fit studio that he didn't get serious about fitness until he was 70. He was chosen as one of three China representatives of Reebok's 'Be More Human" positioning, which the brand says is "a call to inspire people from all walks of life to strive to achieve their full potential through fitness."
The other brand ambassadors are two young actors, Yuan Shanshan and Wu Lei. They're a more typical choice for sports marketers in China, who generally slavishly target millennials. Mr. Wang, despite his popularity, doesn't appear to have signed other major endorsement deals since his runway appearance went viral in 2015.
Reebok, which is owned by Adidas, has opened seven 'FitHub' stores across China. In collaboration with a retail partner, Belle International Holdings, it plans to open 50 this year, and 500 by 2020.