LaCrosse Names New Prez, Sets Growth Strategy

LaCrosse Footwear Inc. has tapped Robert Sasaki as its new president. He will be responsible for overseeing the company’s Danner and LaCrosse brands.

Prior to joining Portland, Ore.-based LaCrosse as EVP last December, Sasaki served as finance director for Nike.

The move is one of the first under Lacrosse’s new Japanese owner, ABC-Mart Inc., which acquired the company last year for $137 million. (Former President Joseph Schneider left the firm last fall following the acquisition.)

The appointment comes as the company focuses on several major growth initiatives: It is investing more heavily in U.S. manufacturing and upping its retail presence.
 
For example, the first Danner concept store will open its doors in downtown Portland in August.

Marketing efforts for both Danner and LaCrosse also have been stepped up for 2013. The firm will unveil global campaigns for both brands.
   
“We recognize the unique opportunity for legendary American heritage brands Danner and LaCrosse to partner with Japan’s leading footwear retailer,” said Sasaki. “With ABC-Mart’s vast knowledge of the footwear retail industry and our Portland team’s immense brand and manufacturing experience, we are well positioned for success in domestic and international markets.”

Additional changes in the executive management team include the promotions of Craig Cohen to VP of sales and marketing, and Steve Belatti to senior director of product.