Top 5 Running Shoe & Apparel Companies


Top 5 Running Companies

The sneaker business is a $21 billion (retail) industry in the U.S. with running the biggest component at $6.7 billion.   Sales are projected to grow an additional 16% to approximately $7.7 billion in 2013.   The market has expanded with the explosion of running races (running and trail), triathlons and obstacle races like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. There were 23,000 timed races in the U.S. last year and 19 million people ran at least twice a week.   Participation in running has been on a steady climb for more than 15 years.


Here are the  Top 5 Running Shoe & Apparel companies that are rated for global sales.


  1.   Asics

The Asics Corporation has been developing and designing sports shoes since 1949.  Through various mergers and acquisitions, Asics has become the best leader in running shoes and apparel.   In 2012, Asics Running shoes and apparel netted them $8.5 billion, which 20% of that was in running apparel of their total sales.

Asics Corporation's Core Vision is to create Quality Lifestyle through Intelligent Sport Technology.   Their business domain consists of Athletic Sports, Sports Lifestyle, and Health/Comfort.  Their Products provide innovative values and they integrate them to address customer needs.  They identify potential needs based on trends in various markets around the world, various customers’ opinions, product evaluations and sales result, and appropriately address these needs in product planning, and promptly provide such valuable products.  In addition, the Asics Corporation conduct R&D more advanced than competitors by developing their insight and awareness and provide technologically innovative products and values to customers.


  2.   Nike

NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the worlds leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.   In 2012, Nike had total global sales of $24 billion, where Nike Running Shoes/apparel had sales of approximately $3.7 billion.   Fiscal year 2012 demonstrated NIKE, Inc.s greatest strength – innovation.   Nike delivered an amazing number of game-changing products and services that drove record revenue growth," said Mark Parker, President and CEO, NIKE, Inc. "We also delivered solid profit growth for the year despite some headwinds in a challenging global economy, which will continue into the next year.

The company was founded on January 25, 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1978.   The company takes its name from Nike (Greek Νίκη), the Greek goddess of victory.    In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of "Just Do It" and the Swoosh logo.


  3.   New Balance

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: "Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host".   New Balance is currently the only athletic shoe company that manufactures footwear in the U.S. with 25% of their U.S. footwear shipments produced at five New England facilities.

Sales for 2012 were approximately $2.1 billion.   As global athletic leader New Balance has expectations to achieve a $2.5 billion in global sales by 2013.   They are stiving to be number one in running shoes and apparel.    New Balance’s U.S. licensed stores have now seen increased year over year sales for the past 24 straight months.  To date, overall licensed store sales have grown 10.5% in 2012.

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  4.   Brooks

A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Brooks was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle.   One of Brook's mottos is that "we’re not just a shoe company or an apparel company; we are a running company. It’s all we do".    To Brooks, Run Happy® is a celebration of the spiritual essence that make running the most addictive sport the world has ever known—an activity fueled by motivations that are as varied as its participants.   Sales for 2012 were approximately $409 million.  Sales for their apparel were approximately 17% of total sales.

Brooks experienced a 43 percent growth in U.S. revenue in 2012 and a 31 percent increase in U.S. future order backlog.   According to the latest data from Leisure Trends, the sales for their neutral running shoes category were a close 2nd with three Brooks shoes experiencing double-digit growth December 2011 to 2012—Glycerin (83 percent), Ghost (66 percent) and Ravenna (43 percent).

Brooks eschews expensive media ad campaigns and pours money into grassroots marketing. It invests in events and specialty run retailers.   It relies heavily on social media and word of mouth. Brooks is the title sponsor of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series which includes 29 running events each year with half-a-million participants.


  5.   Saucony

Saucony was Founded in 1898, the company's first factory was started in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, on the high banks of the Saucony Creek.  In 1910, Russian immigrant Abraham Hyde started a shoe company in Cambridge, Massachessetts, called Hyde Athletic Industries.  Over the years, Hyde became known for making athletic footwear.  Hyde Athletic Industries bought Saucony in the late 1960s and moved it to Cambridge.  By the late 1990s, Saucony became Hyde's dominant brand, the name of the company was offically change from Hyde Athletic Industries to Saucony.    The company is now a subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide.

The total revenue for Wolverine World Wide was $1.6 billion, where approximately $230 million was from Saucony.






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