Mizuno Corporation


Mizuno Corporation (ミズノ株式会社, 美津濃株式会社, Mizuno Kabushiki-gaisha) (TYO: 8022) is a Japanese sports equipment and sportswear company, founded in Osaka in 1906 by Rihachi Mizuno. Today, Mizuno is a global corporation which makes a wide variety of sports equipment and sportswear, for golf, tennis, baseball, volleyball, football, running, rugby, skiing, swimming, cycling, judo, table tennis, badminton, boxing and athletics.

Mizuno KK
TypePublic (K.K)
TYO: 8022
IndustrySports equipment
FoundedApril 1, 1906; 115 years ago (1906-04-01) [1]
FounderRihachi & Rizo Mizuno
HeadquartersSuminoe, Osaka, Japan
Key people
Aikito Mizuno (President)[2]
Products
RevenueJPY 148,703,000,000 (2010)[3]
JPY 1,406,000,000 (2010)[3]
Number of employees
5,368 (2013)
Websitemizuno.com
Sneakers produced in cooperation with fashion company Armani, c. 2006

History


Mizuno was founded in 1906 as Mizuno Brothers, Ltd. by Rihachi Mizuno and his younger brother Rizo, in Osaka. The shop sold Western sundries, including baseballs, and then in 1907 began to sell order-made athletic wear. In 1910 the shop moved to Umeda-Shinmichi and its name was changed to Mizuno Shop. In 1913 the firm began to manufacture baseballs and gloves. In 1933 Mizuno presented Star Line, the first Japanese made golf clubs. By 1935 its golf club showroom was the world's largest. In 1941 the company name was changed to Mizuno Co., Ltd, and has remained the same since. During World War II, Mizuno manufactured military ordnance for Japan's war effort.[4]

The first American factory was established in Los Angeles, under the denomination American Mizuno in 1961. During the following years, Mizuno signed sponsorship deals with some of the most prominent personalities in sports, such as track and field athlete Carl Lewis, the All Blacks rugby team, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, for most of his years in the NFL, the Manu Samoa rugby team, Czech tennis player Ivan Lendl, and golf player Nick Faldo.

To gain a foothold in the baseball glove market in the United States, the mobile "Mizuno Baseball Workshop" was introduced in the late 1970s to service major league clubs during spring training in Arizona and Florida. The forty-foot (12 m) van contained extensive leather-working equipment, manned by two skilled Japanese craftsmen, to produce made-to-order gloves and repair all brands.[5]

The company also expanded its operation centres opening new factories in Germany, France, China, Scotland and Hong Kong.

Aircraft


To commemorate the company's 30th anniversary, the company began manufacturing gliders in 1936.[6] Among the company's military design efforts included the Mizuno Shinryu, a proposed rocket-powered interceptor that never left the prototyping stages, and the Mizuno MXZ1, a training glider.[7]

Golf


Mizuno is a manufacturer of golf clubs and accessories, their Grain Flow Forged irons are used by professional golfers. Tiger Woods used Mizuno golf clubs until he turned professional in 1996, including for his first Masters Tournament victory in 1997, having left Mizuno and moved to Titleist. Other players have played using Mizuno equipment during their careers.[8]

Mizuno Wave Ultima 11 running shoe

Sponsorship


References


  1. Corporate Data, 2010 Fact Book
  2. Board of directors on Mizuno Corp., 30 Sep 2019
  3. Corporate Data, 2010 Fact Book, financial section
  4. https://www.shoeguide.run/guides-and-advice/the-best-mizuno-running-shoes
  5. "Made-to-order baseball gloves". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. March 7, 1979. p. 3B.
  6. https://corp.mizuno.com/en/heritage.aspx
  7. "Aircraft of Imperial Japanese Navy". zenibo-milimania.world.coocan.jp. 2003-08-21. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  8. "Tiger Woods to switch to Nike irons soon". Golf Today. May 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-24.