ASICS: Chasing a 2020 Vision
In early 2016, Motoi Oyama, president and CEO of ASICS, a major sports apparel and footwear manufacturer based in Japan, lays out his company's growth plan for the upcoming 5 years. The new plan set ambitious goals in terms of revenue and profit increases. At the heart of the strategy to achieve these goals are a desire to embrace a more direct to consumer mindset, expand into new customer segments, and communicate a more consistent and emotional brand worldwide. With its primary core customer currently the "serious" runner and its innovation strategy geared towards high-end performance, pursuing these objectives in light of the fierce competitive landscape posed a multitude of challenges. Moreover, the company had recently launched several lifestyle brands (using brand names it had revived), which posed brand architecture issues. Lastly, the company had just acquired a digital fitness app, RunKeeper, and was wondering how best to leverage this asset and how it fit with the main pillars of the growth plan strategy. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games would coincide with the conclusion of the 5 year plan, and ASICS had paid over $100 million to be a Gold Sponsor of the games- Oyama wondered whether his company was on the right track to achieving the goals he intimated to shareholders.