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The Beginnings of Onitsuka Co., Ltd.

Asics Corporation is one of the top sportswear manufacturers in the clothing industry. But what has this company gone through to get to this status?

On the first day of September 1949, Onitsuka Co., Ltd. started its business operations in the clothing industry. The founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, manufactured shoes for basketball in his own hometown Kobe, Japan. The company became known for their famous design called the Mexico 66. The design had a distinct crossed stripe which is now identical to the company’s brand.

In May 1953, the company opened their first Tiger Rubber Factory which was situated in Kobe.  After four years, the company was reorganized into a new company called Onitsuka Co., Ltd.

Onitsuka Co., Ltd. Becomes Asics Corporation

Onitsuka Co., Ltd. fused with Jelenk and GTO in July 21, 1977 and formed what is now known as Asics Corporation. Regardless of changing the name, Asics still produces and sells their vintage shoes collection under the original Onitsuka label.

The company’s new name ‘Asics’ was chosen because it the acronym of a Latin phrase which is ‘anima sana in corpore sano.’ This phrase literally translates into ‘a healthy soul in a healthy body.’ In 2007 however, the company focused on the other translation of the company name which is ‘a sound mind in a sound body’ and comes from ‘mens sana in corpore sano.’

Asics was able to generate 171 billion Yen from their net sales as well as 13 billion Yen on net income. All this was accomplished in 2006. The company’s income comes from different sales, 66% of which comes from selling their sports shoes, 24% comes from their sportswear, and the 10% comes from their sports equipments.

The Japanese company has been able to produce 49% of sales solely from its mother country. North America has given them 18% while Europe has generated 29% of sales.

Asics Corporation Faces the 21st Century

Currently, the company is sponsoring several nationally ranked NCAA and NAIA teams for both men and women. They are letting these teams use their sportswear and equipment. Aside from those two, they are also sponsoring national teams such as Sweden, Japan, Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Slovenia, Canada and Brazil. Other sports which the company sponsors include wrestling, triathlon, tennis, cricket, athletics, netball, football and lastly, volleyball.

Most recently, Asics Corporation became the 2006 Winter Olympics’ official apparel sponsor. Teams that competed in the 2007 World Athletic Championships which was held in Osaka, Japan were also supplied with the company’s apparel. These lucky teams were the Dutch, Italian, Irish, Australian, and South Korean.

The company’s philosophy comprises of four main aspects such as supplying products and services which will create value for every customer, protection of the environment as well as contributing to the social and individual community, to provide sound service plus share the income with the shareholders who have supported the company, its community and employees. Lastly, the company wishes to achieve Asics in the form of freedom of the spirit, fairness, and respecting each individual’s dignity.

Asics Corporation has been awarded with a Shoe Award which was given by Runner’s World magazine. The company is currently has over 6,501 employees as of March 31, 2009. Their head office is located in Kobe, Japan and they have branches in Kanto and Kansai, both of which are in Japan. They also have over 44 subsidiaries and affiliates both domestic and overseas.

The company also owns ASICS Institute of Sports Science which is located in Kobe, Japan.



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