In 1963, Nike’s predecessor – Blue Ribbon Sports became a distributor of Onitsuka Tiger, helping the company expand its market to the US – reaching out to Japan.
In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO and JELENK became ASICS Group – short for Latin idiom “Anima sana in corpore sano” – “A lucid spirit inside a healthy body” and rose to become World famous Japanese sports equipment company. Asics’s running shoes are not really popular in the world like Nike and adidas but are trusted by amateur and non-professional runners in the US and European markets.
The key technology of ASICS is GEL – appearing on all ASICS best selling shoes – considered a direct competitor of Nike Air technology.
Brooks is a brand that is unfamiliar to a country but is highly appreciated by professional runners, especially in the US and European markets. If you only consider running shoes, the king is not in Nike’s hands but belongs to Brooks.
Brooks was founded in 1914 in Pennsylvania – USA by Morris Goldenberg. Brooks’s name is derived from his wife’s English transliteration – Bruchs. Currently, Brooks is owned by Berkshire Hathaway (the company of billionaire Warren Buffett) with the slogan “Run happy” – simple but meaningful.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Brooks suffered a severe crisis, losing the leading position in running shoes when deciding to expand production of shoes for many other sports. But in 2001, Brooks changed dramatically when the then-CEO Jim Weber changed his strategy: Brooks focused his resources on running shoes. And now, Brooks has been dubbed “the professional jogging shoe king” worldwide.
Brooks’ most prominent technology is EVA, DNA, Hydroflow. Especially the birth of EVA is considered a milestone marking the industrial revolution of sports shoes.