Asics invests in running events by acquiring French company Njuko
Asics has established itself as one of the key players in the field of running equipment. The Japanese brand benefited from the increasing popularity of running in the 2010s. Major players like, Nike and Adidas, but also Puma, Mizuno, Salomon and New Balance are long-time competitors, but Asiscs must also face the emergence of new ambitious labels like ON, Altra or Hoka One One.
The Japanese group has therefore developed a strategy that goes beyond product research and development, and is also banking on becoming an intermediary player in running events.
More than just sponsoring certain events, Asics was already offering registration services for running events in Japan, North America and the Pacific. It has recently enriched this offering with the acquisition of Bidart-based French company Njuko SAS, headed by Pierre Duvelleroy and Benoit Rousseau, which since 2012 has been deploying a platform that allows sports event organizers to manage online registration.
"We are pleased to welcome the Njuko team to the Asics family," said Alex Vander Hoeven, CEO of Asics Runner App. Europe is an important market for Asics, and the Njuko platform has proven to be the best technology for this market."
For the Asics group, which last August also acquired R-bies, a company that also specialises in the running sector in Japan, the interest is clearly to create a direct relationship with these runners, who register for competitions.
The brand explains that it wants to "enhance the runner's experience by offering tailored training programs with the Asics Runkeeper app, events organized by Asics, and other benefits through the loyalty program."
In the first nine months of its fiscal year ending in late September, the group claims a more than 25% increase in sales of performance running products compared to 2021 and an improvement in its gross margin, which rose from 44.2% in 2019 to 48.4% in 2022. Over the period, the group saw its overall sales increase by nearly 13% to 363 billion yen, or more than 2.51 billion euros. The running offer is clearly driving the growth of the Japanese brand.
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