ASICS America Adds Leadership & Reorgs Sales Department, release, note by Larry Eder


ASICS America continues to juggle around their key team players, under the new President & CEO, Kevin Wulff. ASICS America has been the top performance running footwear brand for over a decade, however, the competition, from adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Puma, Saucony,  is even tougher. Wulff, who has been CEO officially since February 1, has begun to reorganize his key teams. To Wulff's credit, he promoted from within, using some of the top sales people at ASICS America for the past two decades.

What was not noted in this release was the departure of Jim Hoff. Hoff, the long time vice president of sales at ASICS America, was a somewhat mercurial character.  He was also well respected in the industry. What was also a fact was that Hoff could sell and could manage sales people. Under Richard Bourne, the former ASICS CEO, Hoff lead one of the top sales teams in the business.

Sales people are born, not made. They can, like sprinters, have their skills developed and finely tuned. Sales people do not like to be managed. Sales people need to know that they are appreciated. The ability to walk the sales tightrope, to deal with tough goals, is not something all can appreciate. It continues to confound me how few companies understand or appreciate their sales force.

A great sales manager manages without sales people knowing, realizing that the very ego that may drive one crazy at times is also the reason for their success. Jim Hoff was old school. One earned his respect. In my mind, Jim Hoff was one of the very best vp of sales that I have observed over the past three decades. He will be missed.

 What will be interesting to see is how Wulff's reorganization, with some long time ASICS employees, affects the future of ASICS America. Moving people with experience in other branches of the business makes them more well rounded, and also, gives them a chance to improve their skills.
Change is good, and ASICS America needs to stay at the top of their game. We wish Mr. Wulff and ASICS America the best of luck.

The brands that realize, it is one shoe sale at a time to reach the ultimate level of success, will, in the end reach the top of the performance footwear food chain. 

ASICS America Corporation, the athletic products manufacturer, announces two
major additions and restructuring of its sales team to accommodate the
current and future growth of the company. The brand, which has seen
double-digit growth each year for the past seven years, has announced an
ambitious goal of reaching a billion dollars in sales by 2015 which will
require a solid and extensive sales force.

Two new Senior National Sales Directors have been named.  Mike Mitchell will
handle the West and Southwest territories, including specialty retailers
nationwide, and Tracy Paoletti will serve as his counterpart for the East
and Midwest regions. Mitchell and Paoletti were both previously employed at
American Sporting Goods (ASG), Mitchell as Western Regional Sales Manager
and Paoletti as a Regional Sales Manager.  Paoletti re-joined ASICS in
January 2011 and Mitchell will start in May 2011. Both have more than 20
years experience in the footwear business and will report to ASICS America
President and CEO Kevin Wulff.

"Mitchell and Paoletti will take the reins of these two large territories
overseeing an already strong sales force with incredible depth and
momentum," says Wulff.  "They each bring tremendous senior level national
sales experience and a complete understanding of premium performance
products.  We look forward to the leadership of these two highly talented
individuals as ASICS America continues down the road of growth and
prosperity in our business."

Along with these two additions, comes a complete reorganization within the
sales team.  John Kraus, who has been with ASICS since 2004, will add
Director of Sales Operations to his West Sales Manager title. Kraus's
extensive sporting goods business experience dates back to the early 1980's.
He has helped grow and sustain many performance brands over the past 30
years and has been an integral part of growing the ASICS business on the
west coast for the last seven years.

Veteran ASICS employee Terry Schalow will transition to the Director of
Specialty Sales position, overseeing Specialty Running, Military and Team
Sales. Schalow has been with ASICS for 24 years, serving most recently as
the Product Marketing Manager for Performance Running and Track and Field
categories. Prior to that, he was the Gold Accounts Manager.  He has a vast
understanding of footwear on both the sales and product development fronts
and his experience will be ideally suited to help drive sales in the
specialty business.

"This new role will take full advantage of my skill set, blending my
background in specialty retail management with my technical background as a
Product Marketing Manager for Performance Running," says Schalow. "I'm
excited about managing the direction of our more specialized sales groups
with a more concentrated focus and helping to elevate the growth of the

Damian McCusker has been promoted to Strategic Business and Sales Manager
for Gold Accounts.  McCusker, who has been with ASICS since 2006, will
continue to manage the ASICS business within specialty running; developing
long term strategic plans to grow the core business of running.

Apparel Product Manager Patty Kelly, who joined ASICS in 2007, will
transition from the product side into a new position as Apparel Sales
Manager. Her broad design and management experience within the performance
apparel category will benefit and help grow the apparel business.

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required