Mizuno is a company that has not only been around for 3 generations, but has also been run by three generations of father and brother(founders), son, and grandson. In this time this company has designed and manufactured some of the most innovative sports equipment in history.
The company’s success however cannot only be measured in their business endeavors. Each generation of Mizuno has made efforts to give back to their communities, employees and environment.
Beginning in 1906, when Rihachi Mizuno and his brother Rizo opened Mizuno Brothers Ltd, in Osaka Japan, they went from selling baseballs and other western items, to almost immediately producing custom made athletic wear. The shop soon moved and expanded and opened a factory that began full scale production of sports products.
Over the years they continued to expand with more stores, factories and new product lines including skis made of hickory. In his plans to expand their markets, Rihachi Mizuno began visiting western countries and Europe. Mizuno was also responsible for introducing the very first Japanese made gold clubs.
Mizuno introduced many more ground breaking sporting goods over many more years, and the company is one of the very few that remained in the hands of the family as each generation passed away, giving way to the next Mizuno to continue the legacy.
Interesting Facts about Mizuno
* In 1935, they had the world’s largest golf club showroom
* In 1940, their soarer glider sets new records for flight duration and altitude
* When his company went on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Rihachi Mizuno gave each employee 25 shares.
* Mizuno’s founder, Rihachi Mizuno died in 1970, and is also awarded the Fourth Order of the Sacred Treasure
* The Baseball Hall of Fame inducts Rihachi Mizuno in 1971
* The American Golf Hall of Fame enshrines golf clubs made by Mizuno
*Their shoes began to be sold in the US in 1980
* Mizuno creates the first carbon head drivers – Vanguard – which go on sale in 1982
* Third Order of the Sacred Treasure is given to Kenjiro Mizuno
* In 1987 Carl Lewis signs on as an adviser
* In 1990, they introduce the world’s first titanium clubs
* In 2003, all of their factories reach their goal of zero emissions
Some of those high profile endorsements have come from Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa, both professional golfers; track-and-field star Florence Griffith Joyner who also had her own line at Mizuno; and Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki, both Japanese baseball players.
Where is the Company Headed?
It’s no doubt that this companys thinking includes environmental concerns and that the company has a long history of product innovation, but they also are planning their future well in advance. Mizuno has already designed and announced a Dare to Dream line for 2020.
Their biggest current hit in the market place are their products using ice Touch cooling fabric. With their innovative ideas and business approach, this is a company that will be around for a long time. It will be interesting to see what they do between now and 2020.
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