Published by www.sportstrader.co.za
The message was loud and clear at the opening of the new ASICS SA offices in Observatory, Cape Town: the brand is now about much more than just running. The wide spectrum of invited guests attested to that: sevens rugby players and youth lifestyle trendsetters rubbed shoulders with retailers and other industry people in showrooms filled with rugby jerseys, training t-shirts, tennis, hockey and lifestyle footwear, running apparel … and, of course, the running shoes that have made ASICS famous in South Africa.
|Seven’s rugby players Frankie Horne (left), Martin Delport and Kyle Browne (right) with ASICS’ head of emerging markets Stefan Heinrich, ASICS SA marketing manager Sarah Mundy and GM Brian Kerby.|
Rykie van der Merwe, responsible for ASICS’ trade marketing, with Elisha from youth lifestyle company Boaston Society.
Retailers Barry Selby, from the Athlete’s Foot, and Toni Haarburger from Holdsport, deep in discussion.
The eco-friendly and health-orientated business park suits the brand, GM Brian Kerby told the guests. Apart from monitoring the sustainability of the tenants, the business park also has a cycling path, CrossFit box and running track, a soccer field and golf course close by (see more New ASICS home). The modern mechandising stands are in the global ASICS designs, featured in offices around the world, and had to be put together like “Meccano sets” says Kerby.
|The showrooms are designed according to the global ASICS blueprint.|
“I think we have the best team in the industry,” Kerby said, thanking the Japanese board and European directors for the support and confidence they’ve shown in the newly-appointed South African team. “We’ll keep the Japanese shareholders happy and take the brand to a new level.”
|GM Brian Kerby addressing the guests, with marketing manager, Sarah Mundy, formerly from SARU, with him.|
ASICS signed the contract with SARU to be their official technical supplier a year ago – but plans for a subsidiary was still a blank piece of paper, said Stefan Heinrich, who as head of emerging markets was intimately involved with the establishment of the new subsidiary. “Now we have a talented team in place – a mixture of Jordan people, our former successful partner, and new people.”
|Stefan Heinrich is impressed with the speed in which a talented team at ASICS SA had been assembled.|