Asics is preparing to expand its presence in Boston by establishing a product creation studio in the city. The Boston area is also the home of Asics rivals New Balance and Reebok.
Last spring, Asics acquired the Boston-based fitness tracker Fitnesskeeper Inc., and opened a global digital hub in the city to complement its U.S. headquarters in Irvine, Calif.
“As this industry continues to evolve dramatically, it is crucial for our brand to be represented on both coasts in the U.S.,” said Gene McCarthy, Asics America Corp.’s president and chief executive officer. “At the dynamic crossroads of innovation and sport, Boston is that place for us on the East Coast.”
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said, “With a vibrant, highly educated and tech-savvy workforce, Boston is fast becoming a destination for companies seeking to be a part of that culture. I look forward to Asics being a major contributor to Boston.”
The brand will house key members of its executive team in Boston including Andrew Richard, vice president of North American commerce, who oversees all wholesale, e-commerce and retail divisions, and former Under Armour executive David Ayers, who recently joined the brand as vice president of apparel merchandising. Craig Gillian, general manager of digital commerce; Takaaki Kondo, general manager of multichannel marketing, and Kazuya Kawakami, general manager of consumer IT, are also headquartered in Boston.
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The company has retained T3 Advisors, a real estate and workplace advisory firm, to find a location while IA Interior Architects will design the space.
Earlier this week, Adidas AG filed suit against Asics and Fitnesskeeper alleging the brands have directly infringed on roughly 10 patents held by Adidas.
In 2014, Adidas filed a similar lawsuit against Under Armour Inc. and MapMyFitness Inc., highlighting three patents that it claimed were infringed upon. That case was settled through mediation in May 2016, with Under Armour and MapMyFitness paying a “confidential licensing fee” to Adidas.
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