Gene McCarthy, ASICS America President and CEO, talks the shoe company's rebranding effort, led by DJ and influencer Steve Aoki. McCarthy talks the appeal of Aoki for ASICS, mentioning the celebrity's knowledge of and interest in the brand and strong following on social media.
McCarthy also discusses the importance of the young consumer when it comes to ASICS adding, "Kids chased the brands. Twenty years later, the brands are chasing kids." McCarthy talks about the changing interests of young people today, noting that few know how many medals Michael Phelps won in Rio, but they can tell you about his son and his wife because of social media. Steve Aoki is helping ASICS build the brand right now, but he may be designing for the company in the future. McCarthy notes, "We don't own the brands. Kids do. We just manage it for them."
We also talk ASICS' new microwaveable soles technology, which cuts down on energy use by allowing consumers to customize the soles of their shoes in as little as 15 seconds. The technology is still in the testing phase but is proving to be sustainable when the average time for shoe manufacturing is 10 months.