Asics appoints Pitch PR for London 2012 Olympics comms drive

Asics, one of the world's largest athletics brands, has a new UK PR agency.

On track: Triathlete Tim Don is an Asics ambassador
On track: Triathlete Tim Don is an Asics ambassador

The Japanese sportswear firm pledges a tenfold increase in marketing spend in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Asics has appointed Pitch PR as its UK agency as it looks to strengthen its position as the country's top-selling specialist running brand.

The company is preparing for the London Games with its first UK TV advertising campaign launched last month, under the slogan 'running releases more than just sweat'. It is significantly increasing its media budget with the national press, specialist media and activity in national gym chains.

Pitch won a three-way fight to handle PR in the UK to attempt to drive home the firm's 'sound mind in a sound body' brand ethos to consumers.

The agency will run a UK press office for the sportswear company. It will launch a campaign and series of events to educate the public about the science of running and promote Asics' expertise in that field.

The company's reach extends to cricket, football, rugby and tennis among other sports, all of which will be supported by Pitch.

Susie Boylan, associate director at Pitch, said: 'Asics is a multi-sport brand, but running is a huge focus and we will look to help it grow and maintain that market leadership. Our brief is to help explain the science behind sport and bring the brand to life.'

Pitch beat off incumbent agency BrandNation to win the account. It is thought that IMG was also on the shortlist.

The agency will report to Eoin Treacy, Asics UK & Ireland marketing manager, who commented: 'The UK is a key growth market for Asics and will play an important part in the European-wide strategy for development.'

Ambassadors for the brand include 800m runner Jenny Meadows, England cricketer Eoin Morgan and triathletes Tim Don and Helen Jenkins.

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