May 19, 2011

Mizuno Puts Power of Integrated Marketing on Display With Multi-faceted Strategy, Incorporating Digital
and Conventional Marketing Elements, Unique Consumer-Engagement Platforms, Social Media and
Public Relations  

Norcross, GA (May 19, 2011) – Mizuno USA, a leader in running footwear and apparel technology, has launched its most integrated marketing platform to date, in support of its highly anticipated Wave®Prophecy running shoe. The latest addition to the Mizuno running shoe family incorporates all the benefits of Mizuno’s award-winning and patented Wave Technology, while also offering the most unique running experience to date.

Mizuno’s integrated marketing strategy focused on the campaign’s “Ride of Your Life” motto which speaks to the superior and cutting-edge forward-propulsion dynamic achieved by the shoe’s innovative full- length Infinity Wave™ Plate. Avid runners often characterize the feel of a shoe and the physical experience it produces as “the ride” of the shoe, and Mizuno’s full-length Infinity Wave technology offers the most superior “ride” available. To champion this notion of the Wave Prophecy’s superior experience, the company launched a user-generated video contest that called for a select group of avid runners to showcase their personal experience and impressions of the Wave Prophecy’s “ride”. Winners received various prizes, with the grand prize winner receiving a trip to Japan to participate in the inaugural Osaka Marathon in October. These user-generated videos are showcased on www.mizunoprophecy.com, YouTube, Twitter and the new Mizuno Running North America Facebook page as the company makes its debut in the social media space. Rounding out Mizuno’s digital efforts was a technical video, using super slow-motion footage that allows consumers to literally visualize “the ride”. The video was produced by Atlanta-based production company, Hybr-id Design, and is showcased on the Mizuno Running website.

In addition to the shoe’s superior technology, the Wave Prophecy is also distinguished by its groundbreaking aesthetic design. To effectively showcase the shoe’s unique look, Mizuno’s advertising agency, Milwaukee-based Shine Advertising, developed a simple, yet stunning print and digital advertising campaign. The campaign features the tagline “WHOA NELLY,” a reference to the emotion runners will feel when they first experience the Wave Prophecy’s enhanced ride. Media was placed in key running and fitness media such as Runner’s World, Active.com, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Competitor.com and Running Times. The print campaign was carried out at retail, with Mizuno’s network of running specialty retailers across the country featuring point-of-purchase and window advertising versions of the print campaign. Mizuno also worked with artist Murilo Maciel to create a special edition print showcasing “The Ride of Your Life”, that will be distributed to retailers and some consumers through local market events. In addition to promotion and advertising, Mizuno USA charged its Public Relations agency-of-record, Leader Enterprises with implementing an all-out public relations blitz that targeted a wide variety of national and regional media, across every relevant mainstream news and lifestyle media category, with an emphasis on endemic running and endurance sports media, and a high priority on influential running websites and bloggers. At the heart of Mizuno’s media relations strategy was a product-seeding campaign, allowing target media to experience “the ride” of the Wave Prophecy first hand and leveraging that product-trial experience to generate positive coverage about the shoe.

“It has been amazing to see the successful effect of this integrated strategy, as these varying marketing tactics and assets work in harmony with one another to effect a level of consumer engagement and impact that could not be achieved otherwise,” said Jessica Klodnicki, Vice President Brand Marketing & Management. “We wanted to design a marketing strategy that mirrored the unique and innovative identity of the shoe itself, and we’re proud to have successfully achieved that. Mizuno is dedicated to providing the best running products in the industry, and this multi-faceted effort exemplifies our belief in the Wave Prophecy and our dedication to the most discerning and knowledgeable consumers who seek products designed to enhance their ability to perform.”

The Wave Prophecy debuts the first full-length Infinity Wave Plate, a breakthrough that was seven years in the making. The full-length Infinity Wave Plate is an industry first, allowing Mizuno designers to fine tune each individual section of the midsole, resulting in a unique heel-to-toe feel. This innovation provides runners with a dynamic and forward propelling movement that works in harmony with the foot. The Mizuno Dynamotion Fit™ feature provides extreme comfort and protection through its slipper-like feel of the stretchable mesh fabric. The AP+ Midsole assists in the forward propulsion and bounce of the shoe, while the SmoothRide™ flex controllers built into the Wave plate in the forefoot minimize energy loss during toe off. Additionally, Gender Engineering™ allows Mizuno to create a high quality and custom fit running shoe that meets the specific and varying needs of both men and women.

The Mizuno Wave Prophecy was launched in select stores on May 6th, 2011. The suggested retail price of the shoe is $199.99.

Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.

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