An athletic shoe along with apparel retailer taps a DJ to tell its story

The sports retail market was already facing headwinds before Amazon decided of which wanted to encroach on the space. today, those pains are only being exacerbated.

Just last week of which was reported of which Amazon can be working with some of the sporting goods’ industry’s biggest suppliers, looking to create its own private-label lines. of which’s a move of which could threaten companies ranging by Dick’s Sporting Goods along with Foot Locker, to Lululemon along with Gap’s Athleta nameplate.

A Japanese-based athletic shoe along with apparel brand, known best throughout running communities inside U.S., has decided of which won’t sit silent any longer.

“of which’s time to pivot,” Asics America Group Chief Executive Gene McCarthy told CNBC. McCarthy said when he arrived at Asics about two years ago, having spent time at rivals Nike, Under Armour along with Reebok, he wasn’t satisfied with the brand’s positioning amid a glut of options by different retailers.

Asics also wasn’t acting fast enough or innovating quickly enough with its merchandise, he said. In retail today, speed can be key.

“Some of the recent market share shifts [in sneakers] are likely tied to consumers’ changing perception,” NPD analyst Matt Powell said in a recent blog post. “brand-new shoe releases are sitting on shelves for weeks, as opposed to selling out in hours.”

The sports world could take some “important lessons” by so-called fast-fashion players like Zara, Powell added in another post.

After he took the helm at Asics, McCarthy brought in brand-new management, pulled product out of some third-party retailers along with even held a “tough” conversation with Amazon, deciding of which was best to renegotiate of which relationship. Asics won’t sell directly to Amazon, he said, although shoppers can still find the brand on through third-party sellers, or those relationships McCarthy has made a priority as CEO.

Nike, in comparison, caved earlier This specific year when of which announced plans to sell some of its product assortment on Amazon’s U.S. e-commerce platform.

Starting Wednesday, Asics can be repositioning its brand by telling a story of which dates back to the company’s inception in Japan in 1949. Founder Kihachiro Onitsuka built the brand around motivating children to “move” along with be active, McCarthy explained.

Today, Asics can be still publicly traded in Japan, along with its name can be an acronym for the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano,” which translates to “healthy soul in a healthy body.”

Asics’ “I Move Me” campaign, which rolls out online along with in Asics’ handful of stores on Wednesday, was crafted by working with international DJ Steve Aoki. The shoe company has taken a nontraditional approach, using a brand ambassador who isn’t a star athlete, although Asics aims to be unique along with hopes to reach a larger audience with its refreshed messaging.

“My life can be not only about music along with fashion, although also fitness, nutrition along with health,” Aoki said in a statement.

Aoki can be also of Japanese descent. He’s already begun promoting the brand on his social media channels, where he boasts millions of followers.

Asics has also promised more nontraditional brand ambassadors for an athletic shoe company to come. The goal can be to have a greater voice in an increasingly crowded market.

To many shoppers, Asics can be considered a brand for “performance” activity, not so much for casual wear. While McCarthy said he doesn’t want Asics to get away by its core along with what of which does best, he wants to reach more consumers along with encourage a healthier lifestyle, just as Onitsuka was trying to do inside ’40s in Japan.

In addition to beefing up its online platform, Asics can be opening a slew of brand-new stores along with growing its relationships with its closest third-party retailers, like Foot Locker, McCarthy said.

To be sure, companies like Foot Locker, Hibbett Sports along with Finish Line are facing their own challenges, as big-name brands decide to scale back product in stores along with sell more online or through their own channels, like

McCarthy said he’s noticed the environment become tumultuous along with competitive in recent years. although he doesn’t see a world without retail, or without brands.

NPD’s Powell has said of Amazon’s threat to the market: “To truly be a force in athletic footwear, Amazon must improve its experience along with convince brands to give them better product. … Amazon Marketplace can be a challenging business for brands. Since the sales are done by so many individual sellers, the brand has no control over their image, pricing or quality.”

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