Mizuno USA Reports Record Performance in 2010

May 25, 2011

US Division of Japanese Sporting Goods Manufacturer Credits Success to Design and Performance Innovations and Personalization for End User

Norcross, GA – May 25, 2011 – Mizuno USA,Inc., the U.S. wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese sporting goods manufacturer, today reported its 2010 earnings, highlighted by record revenue and profit for Mizuno USA since operations started in the US in 1982. The business enjoyed a consistent uptick in performance across each of its core product divisions, including golf, running, baseball, softball and volleyball footwear, equipment, and apparel.

Globally, total revenues increased to 150.0 billion yen ($1.85 bn) from 148.7 billion yen. Operating income climbed 65.2 percent to 4.6 billion yen ($56.6mm) from 2.8 billion yen. Overall net earnings rose to 2.84 billion yen ($34.9 mm) from 1.6 billion yen a year ago. Currency-neutral sales grew 16.1 percent in the Americas, which consist primarily of North American sales. Sales in the US were driven by heavy increases in Running and Volleyball at 26.5% and 22.8% respectively. Diamond sports, including softball and baseball, saw a healthy 10.5% growth. Golf showed signs of recovery with a 3.2% increase over the previous year. These record sales and profits were driven by strong category growth in running footwear, success in baseball and softball gloves, apparel and protective gear, momentum in volleyball apparel, footwear and accessories and increased iron sales in the golf division.

“Platforms like our Performance Fitting System in golf and our mobile engagement platforms across running, baseball, softball and volleyball have allowed us to achieve this, and are a critical part of the success we’re enjoying,” said Bob Puccini, President and CEO of Mizuno USA.

For decades, the emphasis handed down by Mizuno’s Japanese founders has been one of innovation in both design and performance characteristics. As a result, Mizuno has long been known for developing products suitable for the world’s most elite athletes. An example would be the company’s innovations in running footwear such as its proprietary Wave® Technology, its cutting-edge ball glove and footwear designs for baseball, or its leadership in patented Grain Flow Forged™ irons in golf. Recently, the emphasis on innovation has been complimented by an increased focus on personalization and grass-roots platforms that engage the end user and achieve a unique level of personalization of the products to the user.

“We will never sacrifice the quality of our products or our spirit of innovation, in exchange for market share. Because of this, in order to grow, we are charged with finding unique ways to engage our core consumer and differentiate our brand by truly helping them maximize their performance and success,” said Puccini.

Mizuno’s award-winning Performance Fitting System (PFS) offers the most-efficient and simplistic, yet technologically advanced golf club-fitting experience available today. The system is based on its “Shaft Optimizer” – a golf club armed with a digital sensor on the shaft that registers the essential mathematical performance dynamics of each golfer’s swing in a matter of three simple swings. The result is club customization to optimize performance, regardless of a golfer’s skill level.

In running, Mizuno’s fleet of “Run With Us” mobile vehicles travel regionally around the country, allowing people to test drive their latest products and offering biomechanical analysis of an individual’s feet, unique stride and gait, allowing them to understand which Mizuno running shoe is best designed to work with and maximize their natural tendencies.

In baseball, softball and volleyball, a large part of Mizuno’s focus is on team sports at the high school, college, elite amateur and professional levels. To serve the needs of Mizuno’s vast network of teams and athletes, the company has 11 vehicles each devoted to a separate region allowing Mizuno to serve the individual needs of each customer in terms of new equipment and customizing existing equipment, while in the process, capturing invaluable user feedback that is often the basis of new product innovations.

“We’re thrilled and proud of the success we had this past year, but this is only the beginning,” said Puccini. “2011 has been and will continue to be about building on this success and momentum with exciting brand marketing and consumer engagement platforms that will allow us to amplify our story of quality, innovation and most importantly, commitment to the success of our customers.”

About Mizuno USA
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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