180LA Wins Project-Based Work for ASICS

By Patrick Coffee 

This week 180 Amsterdam launched a new global campaign for footwear giant ASICS, which looks to move beyond its reputation as a brand focused on running.

This work followed January’s revelation that the client would be downsizing its relationship with MDC Partners’ Vitro, which had been its North American creative lead, in the interest of facilitating a more global approach to its marketing.

This change led us to wonder how ASICS would divide its future North American marketing work, and one sentence almost hidden within the press release tells us that the company has turned to 180’s Los Angeles office for more work moving forward.

“In the future the business will be run out of both 180 offices (LA and Amsterdam).”

The specific nature of 180LA’s assignment and its overall share of ASICS’ North American work is unclear, but we hear that the focus of future efforts will be on retail and event marketing while 180 Amsterdam handles global TV spots. (Yesterday Vitro did clarify that they are still working on some projects for ASICS at this time.)

180LA had been lead creative agency on Adidas, but the company chose to move its global Sport business to 72andSunny L.A./Amsterdam almost exactly a year ago–and given ASICS’ existing relationship with 180 Amsterdam, the addition of that shop’s Los Angeles office to its roster makes perfect sense.

Mike Harris, who left his position as president of DDB San Francisco around the same time to become global chief strategy officer at 180LA, will also play lead on the ASICS account worldwide, meaning we can expect a greater share of the work to go to the Los Angeles office moving forward.

Since ASICS is one of the corporate sponsors for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, all of its agencies will almost certainly get quite a bit of work in the years ahead.

ASICS’ North American PR department has not responded to multiple requests for comment on this post.