Who Owns ASICS And What Is Their History with Nike?

Asics is one of the sneaker industry’s more storied brands. Founded in 1949, while it might not be as popular as other companies like Adidas, New Balance and Nike, hype surrounding it continues to grow by the minute. That said, many people often find themselves wondering whether Asics is owned by a larger corporation, and who it is that has control of the company’s many assets.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering about the history of Asics, then this is an article that you definitely do not want to miss. So, stop what you’re doing, and read on to find out everything that there is to know!

What Is The History Of Asics?

Unbeknownst to many, Asics was actually originally known as Onitsuka Shokai or Onitsuka Co. Named directly after its founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, after finishing his military service, he found a career in making footwear. It was while working here that Onitsuka began producing shoes for athletes, and eventually, for basketball players.

Eventually, in 1977, Onitsuka Co. merged with the GTO Company and the JELENK Company to form Asics. This unique name actually comes directly from the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore san.” This refers to having a sound mind and body, and falls perfectly with the Japanese company’s overall ethos.

Who Owns The Asics Company?

Unlike other sneaker label likes Jordan Brand and Reebok, Asics doesn’t actually have a parent company. In fact, even though Onitsuka-san sadly passed away back in September 2007, it’s still wholly owned by his family.

Has Nike Or Anyone Else Ever Owned Asics?

Kihachiro Onitsuka is the only person that has ever had full ownership of the Asics company. However, despite this, Asics has had a very interesting history when it comes to business partnerships, with one of the most intriguing ones being with Nike.

When Nike was founded in 1964, they wanted to be the sole distributors of Onitsuka in the United States. Phil Knight attended the Onitsuka Co. offices and put forward an offer to be their official US sales rep. While this relationship was healthy for the first couple of years, it quickly crumbled, and the two brands eventually sued one another.

What Makes Asics So Successful?

One of the things that has helped to make Asics so successful is that they have always focused on comfort. When it was first established, it wanted to produce the best shoes for local athletes. This allowed their products to quickly gain fame across the globe. 

Many sneakerheads today think that Asics release some of the most comfortable trainers on the market, and this has been helped by their development of specific technologies such as GEL. Essentially, this is a small pocket of stretchy gel that’s placed in the midsole for additional support and response.

Where Is Asics Currently Based?

Asics is a company that greatly honours its origins, and the head office is currently based in Kobe, Japan where its founder was born. With around 9,000 employees across 1,900 stores worldwide, it’s one of the biggest sportswear brands of all time.

The Bottom Line

The history of Asics is a very interesting one, and one that the company still honours to this very day. Founded in 1949 as the Onitsuka Co. by Kihachiro Onitsuka, it continues to drop some of the most cutting edge trainers that the world has ever seen. In fact, if it wasn’t for them, Nike wouldn’t even exist, and that’s a pretty phenomenal achievement.