Published on   2022-09-05 by Kai

Mizuno K.K. is a Japanese sportswear and sporting goods manufacturer that produces equipment for numerous sports, including baseball, soccer, tennis, handball, rugby, judo, track and field, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, and others, in addition to golf. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under TYO 8022.

Mizuno Corporation (jap. 美津濃株式会社, Mizuno Kabushiki kaisha) was founded back in 1906 in Osaka by Rihachi Mizuno and his younger brother Rizo.

Start with western products

The store sold products from the West, including baseball equipment. Rihachi Mizuno was a big fan of the sport himself and wanted to bring it to Japan.

As a result, Mizuno also began selling made-to-order sportswear. In 1910, the two brothers moved the business to Umeda-Shinmichi, the business district in Osaka, and renamed it 'Mizuno Shop'.

In-house manufacturing

In 1913, the brand began designing and manufacturing its own baseballs and baseball gloves.

Two decades later, in 1933, the Japanese designed the 'Star Line'. These were the first golf clubs to be manufactured in Japan. Two years later, the company's golf showroom became the largest in the world.

Gliders from the mid-1930s

From the 30th anniversary of the Mizuno Kyōdai Shōkai's (水野兄弟商会, English Mizuno Brothers Ltd.) business operations in Osaka, the Mizuno Glider Factory (美津濃グライダー製作所, Mizuno guraidā seisakusho) also began building gliders in 1936.

The theme was sport: from land to sea and into the air. Within a few years, the special gliders achieved Japanese records for altitude and flight duration.

Ammunition in World War II

Japan also asked them to manufacture military ammunition during World War II.

Then in the early 1960s, more opportunities opened up for the Japanese sports brand. The 1964 Olympics came to Tokyo and Mizuno was allowed to sponsor them. The same was true for the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.

In the summer of '72, the brand introduced its 'M line', which included running shoes with spikes. It was not yet a success, because the Japanese economy was not as fast as that of the United States. Therefore, the sports brand decided to open a point of view in the United States as well.

As a result, two Americans, each with a background in sports culture, began working for Mizuno. It took only a year and the brand became a household name in the American golf world.

Logo "Runbird" designed in 1982

The logo of the sports brand as we know it today is called 'Runbird'. Before the logo existed, the shoes still had a big 'M' on the side. In '82, the 'Runbird' was designed and a year later, the Runbird collection was released. These shoes had a mesh upper with an EVA foam midsole and a rubber outsole.

Then in 1987, Masato Mizuno, the grandson of Rihachi, took over the reins of the brand. He brought fresh momentum to the company, including some ideas and a lot of knowledge of marketing strategies. The brand began to focus on many sports to cover the needs of as many people as possible.

[Sources: https://emea.mizuno.com/de/de-de/home & Wikipedia]

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