Fritz Taylor to Mizuno USA as VP/GM, Running, Release, note by Larry Eder


There is a very small group of capable people in the running footwear business. Many have come through some of the big companies, and have gone on to bigger and better things.

Fritz Taylor is a creative, thoughtful footwear deity. He wears his emotions closely, but his work, his oevre, speaks of his passion for running footwear, and how a company should be managed.

Fritz Taylor's tenures at Nike and Brooks were good for both companies. We wish Fritz the very best at Mizuno USA.


Norcross, GA (October 27, 2008) – Mizuno USA, Inc. is pleased to announce that Fritz Taylor will join the company as its new Vice President/General Manager of the Running Division. A veteran of the athletic footwear industry with a proven track record of success, Taylor will oversee Mizuno USA’s Running Division, which includes sales, marketing, and operations for Mizuno’s premium line of running shoes and apparel.

“It’s well known that Mizuno takes great pride in the quality and performance of the products that we take to market, but we place just as high of a priority on the quality, character, and business attributes of the people we employ,” said Bob Puccini, President Mizuno USA, Inc., and Chairman, Mizuno Canada, Ltd. “Fritz Taylor’s senior management experience, brand management capabilities, and most importantly, his leadership abilities are going to play a large part in the continued success of our rapidly growing Running Division.”

Taylor joins Mizuno from Brooks Sports, where he served as Senior Vice President of Footwear. In this role, Taylor was responsible for leading the entire footwear team including merchandising, design, development, and future concepts. While with Brooks, Taylor was a key contributor to the strategic direction of the brand.
Taylor joined Brooks after spending nearly twenty years with Nike. While at Nike, Taylor gained invaluable experience and achieved success in a variety of positions, including Running Product Line Manager, Running Product Director and Global Running Footwear Leader. During his time in Nike Running, Taylor was responsible for the birth of the Bowerman range in 1998, a strategy that has been broadly acknowledged with

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helping Nike gain market position with runners and running specialty stores. From 1999 to 2005 Taylor worked in Europe as the EMEA Product Director for Nike where he managed 6 consecutive years of revenue and margin growth while overseeing all sport categories. In 2005 he returned from Europe to take the Global Running Footwear Leader role where he was credited with re-setting the category direction by refocusing the product range and re-energizing the Bowerman collection. In this role, Taylor succeeded in rapidly growing Nike's market share with runners and with re-establishing the brand's running credentials.
“A large part of what has made Mizuno one of the fastest growing specialty running brands, as well as a leader in golf, volleyball, and diamond sports, is our people,” said Puccini. “We are a multi-category specialty brand, and what separates us from other companies is the knowledge and experience of our people in their specific area of expertise and the emotional commitment to our brand philosophy. We hire individuals with tremendous leadership abilities and solid business experience; such as Fritz Taylor, whose proven track record and accomplishments in the athletic industry combined with his passion and respect for the Mizuno brand, make him the perfect candidate to lead our highly successful and rapidly growing Running Division. His knowledge and experience are going to help us in our never ending mission to build and sustain a loyal consumer brand franchise by delivering enriching brand experiences. Central to this experience is delivering the highest quality and the most technically advanced running shoes and apparel in the industry.”

Taylor graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Taylor will be relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area from Redmond, Washington with his wife, Rianne, and their daughter, Cecilia, and son, Luc.

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, markets, and distributes baseball, golf, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia. encourages you to check out the sites of Shooting Star Media, Inc.: American Track & Field (, Athletes Only (, California Track & Running News (, MIssouri Runner & Triathlete (, Latinos Corriendo(, Coaching
Athletics Quarterly (, and USATF Fast Forward ( All of the above magazine websites can be found at (

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