Asics is a Japanese athletic footwear manufacturer that claims to be the fifth largest global brand in the sports shoe market. The brand is recognised as being a true sports shoe rather than a fashion sports shoe. The name Asics is an acronym from the Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” that means “a sound mind in a sound body”.
History of Asics
Onitsuka Co, Ltd was founded in Japan in 1949 by Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka. The company initially manufactured basketball shoes in order to meet the demand from the increasing popularity of basketball. The first shoes were designed with a recessed sole that was designed to look like an octopus’ suction cup.
In the 1950s and 1960s Asics were marketing in the US for the first time. ASICS shoes also underwent some major redesigns and rebranding. The shoe markings were changed to the Tiger stripe design that is still used today. The company name became “ASICS Tiger” to match this new logo.
By 1970, ASICS Tiger became the biggest running shoe manufacturer in the USA and the company claimed that 70% of the top runners wore ASICS. In 1972, 80% of all volleyball players at the Olympic Games wore Tiger shoes. In 1977, Onitsuka Co. Ltd, GTO Co. Ltd. and Jelenk Co. Ltd. merged to form ASICS Corporation.
The 1980s saw an explosion in the athletic footwear industry. Relative newcomers like Nike introduced radical new designs with hew marketing budgets to back them up. Asics response to this change in the market was to launch the Gel T cushioning system. The gel units are positioned in those places where the greatest vertical forces bear on the foot with the intention that peak impact is spread out across the shoe and foot.
In 1992, ASICS became the first official sport shoe sponsor of the Olympic Games (Barcelona).