Ace Partnership: ASICS India and Rohan Bopanna Inspire Fitness Revolution
Ace Partnership: ASICS India and Rohan Bopanna Inspire Fitness Revolution

Recently, ASICS India collaborated with ace Tennis Player Rohan Bopanna to inspire people from all walks of life to experience the uplifting effects of movement by joining ASICS in their journey toward physical and mental wellness. The Japanese sports performance brand has a presence with 103 stores nationwide and now aims to expand more brand stores in Tier I, II, and III markets over the next few years by potentially doubling the number of stores by 2026.

ASICS also launched the French Blue Pack collection with Rohan Bopanna, which includes favorites of Rohan and other tennis players worldwide, such as Gel-Resolution 9, Solution Speed FF 3, and Pro Fit Tech Apparel. ASICS expects India to emerge as the fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia for the company over the next few years.

The Collaboration Journey

Against the backdrop of the 'Sound Mind, Sound Body' campaign, Saurabh Sharma, the Marketing Director for ASICS India, spoke in-depth about the brand’s strategy to leverage the growing trend of exclusive editions and the premium footwear market in India, as well as the brand’s expansion journey in India.

Elaborating on the collaboration with ace tennis player Rohan Bopanna, Sharma said, “ASICS India empowers athletes of every skill level, from beginners to experienced, to unleash their complete potential. Our brand philosophy 'Sound Mind, Sound Body' is a message encouraging movement for positive mental health. We believe everyone should be able to experience the positive mental benefits of exercise.”

Sharma further stated, “ASICS brand athlete Rohan Bopanna’s dedication to physical and mental well-being perfectly aligns with our philosophy. Bopanna strongly believes in the transformative potential of movement and engaging in physical activity to uplift individuals to a more positive psychological state. Beyond his athletic prowess, Rohan inspires everyone who embraces movement.”

Sharma added, “Together with Rohan, we are on a mission to show the world the incredible power that movement brings to transform your life. It's not just about physical fitness but also about boosting your mental well-being. Just like Rohan's commitment to the right training regimen, having the right gear can make all the difference in achieving your potential.”

Looking out for Exciting Collaborations

Exciting collaborations like Michael Jordan and Nike to cricketer Virat Kohli collaborating with Puma in 2017 to launch one8- the athleisure brand have been witnessed. Similarly, in 2003, Serena Williams signed a multi-million, multi-year contract with Nike aged 21. These collaborations have received a tremendous response in the market.

When asked about the potential of licensing and collaborations of such nature, Sharma said, “Recognizing the substantial growth potential within India's market for premium footwear and exclusive merchandise, ASICS is strategically expanding its retail footprint. This expansion aims to double the number of stores by 2026, culminating in the launch of our first dedicated ASICS brand store in India. This strategic move will significantly enhance accessibility for Indian consumers to experience our high-quality product range.”

He further stated, “The convergence of health and wellness trends, along with the blurring lines between work, fitness, and leisure activities, is fueling consumer demand for comfortable and stylish footwear. While online sales continue to thrive, physical stores, particularly those offering premium brands like ASICS, are experiencing resurgence.”

Elaborating on the strategy ASICS utilizes to get an edge over the competition, Sharma says, “To maintain a competitive edge, we are actively monitoring key athleisure trends. These trends encompass the use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials, personalized and customizable designs, and the integration of technology to enhance performance and provide smart features. Leveraging our heritage in performance running shoes, we are also strategically promoting running events and communities to deepen connections with Indian customers.”

Talking about the partnerships and licensing strategies for ASICS, Sharma said, “ASICS prioritizes maintaining direct control over product creation. We achieve this by focusing on in-house design and development, rather than brand licensing. However, to cater to evolving customer preferences and broaden our reach, we actively pursue exciting collaborations and limited-edition collections. These partnerships allow us to integrate fresh design perspectives and attract new audiences.”

Revenue Growth

According to Grand View Research, the global athletic footwear market size was valued at USD 127.3 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9 percent from 2022 to 2030. Asia Pacific dominated the market with a revenue share of over 35.0% in 2021. The region is projected to continue to lead the market over the forecast period.

ASICS, being a key player in this segment, achieved remarkable growth of 40 percent in revenue last year 2023. Sharma says, “We are projecting a healthy long-term trajectory, with a forecasted 25 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the next few years. Specific figures for the upcoming year are still under strategic evaluation.”

Comparing the Southeast Asian market with India, Sharma said, “ASICS expects India to emerge as the fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia for the company over the next few years. Even though ASICS is a late entrant into India compared with the other foreign brands, we see huge potential and prominence from the market because of India’s population and economic growth.”

Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox
Also Worth Reading