Even if local brands can't outrun their foreign rivals, it's hard to imagine them losing money, giving support to company fundamentals despite depressed share prices. Lesser-known local sporting equipment makers, many from China's southern provinces, also should net growth in sales of off-brand badminton rackets and ping pong balls -- cutting into the bigger names that sell partly on prestige. The Olympics not enough? State-run Chinese media reported in mid-2011 that the country's Five-Year Plan, which runs through 2015, will foster a sports industry worth 400 billion yuan, or a bit over 0.7% of the GDP. Sports, at that point, will "become one of the important growth points of China's economy," the China Dailynewspaper said. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.