By Barry Janoff
February 19, 2015: Armed with numbers that show the category of running is is on a growth trajectory and that more people are spending more money on running-related footwear, Asics has unveiled a global marketing campaign that boasts, "It's a big world. Go run it."
Asics plans a multi-platform approach that the brand is calling its "most ambitious to date," including a launch umbrella TV spot that will be followed during the year with sport-specific ads covering tennis and rugby.
Ascis also said it would release 15 short films throughout the year in which brand-sponsored athletes discuss their training routines and diets.
Lead agency is 180 Amsterdam.
Late last year, when Asics opened a high-profile store in New York's Times Square, Kevin Wulff, president and CEO for Asics America Group, explained the company's strategy. "As a global brand, Asics is dedicated to bringing the best in athleticism and innovation to our family, friends and fans," Wulff said.
Katsumi Kato, head of global marketing for Asics, echoed that strategy regarding the new campaign.
"Our new advertising campaign signifies a major step in communicating the Asics brand on a global level," Kato said in a statement. "This demonstrates Asics is the leading running brand, inspiring and helping athletes of all ages and abilities to experience running in all its forms."
The launch spot, shot in New Zealand, includes such athletes as world champion triathlete Gwen Jorgensen, Olympic hurdler and sprinter Queen Harrison, 800m runner Ryan Martin, elite training and fitness competitor Rosario Rios-Aguilar and elite trail runners Sissi Cussot and Genis Zapater along with a bevy of non-competitive running enthusiasts.
According to Asics, the spot "promotes the diversity of running, with Asics bringing every kind of runner together and encouraging them to push boundaries and achieve their goals together." It shows runners of all ages and abilities on streets, country roads, forest trails, snow, ice and mountains "demonstrating the diversity of running and Asics' expert equipment." (See the full spot here.)
Support includes print, outdoor, Internet, social media, POP and activations at marathons around the globe, including the Asics L.A. Marathon (March 15), which has the tag line, "It's A Big Race. Go Run It."
The tennis campaign, 'It's a Tough Game. Go Smash It.," will feature tennis star Gael Monfils (currently ranked No. 21 in the world) and is scheduled to break in May.
The rugby-focused campaign will be launched "in the second half of the year," according to Asics.
According to the National Sporting Goods Assn., total running and jogging participation in 2013 was 42 million, up 5% from 40 million in 2012. Since 2009, participation is up 30%, with men up 14% and women up 50%.
Also according to NSGA, running shoe sales totaled $3.09 billion in 2013, up 31% since 2009, and running apparel sales totaled $1.07 billion in 2013, up 13% since 2009.
According to Kato, "We believe 'It's a big world. Go run it.' will appeal to all types of runners, whilst also keeping the sport fun and accessible."
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