ASICS, the Japanese sporting goods brand and athletic shoemaker, will expand its line of products in 2013 with a range of tennis racquets. ASICS America, the company’s Irvine-based North American division, has debuted three racquets that are targeted specifically toward the ‘club player’ market. While ASICS already makes footwear, apparel and accessories specifically designed for tennis players, this marks the company’s first foray into the manufacture of tennis racquets.
Probably best known for its uniquely striped athletic shoes and fashion sneakers, ASICS currently finds itself in the middle of an ambitious five-year growth plan. Since 2011, the brand has made a concerted effort to cement its foothold in the running shoe market while simultaneously expanding its presence in other sports markets. Since announcing its growth plan in 2011, ASICS has seen its annual net sales climb by more than ¥10 billion each year, approximately $106.8 million.
“We continue to increase our brand beyond running and demonstrate our passion for all sports,” said Kevin Wulff, CEO of ASICS Americas. “We offer a range of products that embrace the authentic spirit of athletes who compete for fun or at a high level of competition. Our new racquets will give the adult players the competitive edge they desire.”
The company’s entrance into racquet production follows the announcement earlier last month that it had signed French tennis star Gaël Monfils as a new brand ambassador. Monfils will be featured in a print campaign and an online film, and he will begin wearing ASICS shoes and apparel at the start of this year’s tennis season.
The new range of ASICS racquets is currently available online and at specialty tennis and pro shops.
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