Asics America Group, which includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, reported that net sales increased by 3 percent in the third quarter of 2015 and grew 8.5 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Asics America Corporation, which consists only of U.S. operations, showed a strong 7.9 percent increase in net sales.
“We’re pleased to see a third consecutive quarter of solid growth and the continued interest in Asics’ newest innovations and designs,” said Gene McCarthy, who joined the company on Oct. 1 as president and CEO of Asics America. “Everything we do as a company is geared toward helping people perform their best, and our commitment to our loyal customers and athletes everywhere has never been stronger.”
“I’m incredibly excited to be on board,” added McCarthy. “Asics has a tremendous heritage and we are in a great position to continue to drive our brand and the industry at-large forward.”
U.S. growth was led by the running footwear category (up by 4.1 percent over same quarter last year) and the launch of two new offerings this summer the new GEL-Quantum 360, the brand’s most technically-innovative sports performance footwear ever, which provides athletes with 360 degrees of its GEL Cushioning; and the new GEL-Kayano 22 for distance running, which incorporates the sleek new FluidFit upper technology, combining multi-directional stretch mesh with stretch reinforcements, to provide distance runners with a customized, glove-like fit.
The U.S. also saw continued double digit growth across the Athletic Sports Apparel category, demonstrating sustained, strong demand in the market with running apparel driving the uptick. Overall, Athletic Sports Apparel grew a notable 15.2 percent with running apparel increasing significantly at 22.4 percent.
Q3 included a number of exciting events and initiatives in wrestling and beach volleyball led by Team Asics elite athletes Jordan Burroughs and Kerri Walsh Jennings.
In July, Asics announced that it re-signed world champion freestyle wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Burroughs for five years. The extended partnership was celebrated with the launch of the JB Elite V2.0 competition shoe, designed by Jordan and built to his specifications, and the JB Elite TR, a new, lightweight cross-trainer for wrestlers’ off-the-mat training sessions.
In August, for a third-straight year, the brand served as title sponsor of the Asics World Series of Beach Volleyball, where three-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion Walsh Jennings made her return to competition after sustaining a shoulder injury earlier this year. The five-day, Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) sanctioned tournament and Olympic qualifier featured more than 128 of the sport’s best beach volleyball players in world-class competition, and also celebrated “all things beach,” with sports, music, culture and community events. During the tournament, Asics offered fans and media an exclusive sneak peek of the new Kerri Collection, which will officially launch in 2016 and feature 17 apparel pieces designed in collaboration with the beach volleyball star.
Also in August, Asics partnered with Sony Electronics to launch the new Smart B-Trainer, an all-in-one training device for avid runners; the first-of-its-kind collaboration is designed to capture the new, digital data that runners are looking for and works in coordination with the MY Asics Training Plan.
The Tennis category also grew for the third consecutive quarter this year, with net sales in Tennis Footwear up 45.6 percent and strong sales of the Tennis GEL-Resolution 6 in the summer months. More than four years in development, Asics’ tennis line continues to be one of its fastest-growing categories, with a continued focus on bringing the brand’s 65 years of sports performance expertise to the tennis market.
Asics’ Lifestyle Footwear division, featuring the Asics Tiger and Onitsuka Tiger brands, also continues to grow at a rapid pace with an increase of 59.9 percent in Q3, fueled by innovative collaborations and unique design aesthetics, including a collaboration and capsule collection with global lifestyle brand tokidoki that launched in July at Comic-Con in San Diego, and the Asics GEL-Lyte EVO NT, an evolutionary leap in the look and feel of the iconic GEL-Lyte, but that still keeps the spirit of the original shoe alive throughout the silhouette.