The two companies announced a deal today in which all Cardio Sport instructors will be outfitted with Mizuno apparel and running shoes — perhaps the new Wave Inspire 12 that debuted last month. In addition, the athletic brand will provide local marketing support to the fitness company and work with Cardio Support to identify and cultivate brand ambassadors.
“At Mizuno, we believe in finding a personal fitness routine that enhances and improves an athlete’s running performance,” said Kim Hoey, division brand marketing director for running at Mizuno USA. “And the relationships built by working out in a group setting help to strengthen the commitment by the athlete.”
Cardio Sport is a growing group-exercise program focused on a 60-minute comprehensive conditioning experience. The company, based outside of Boston, has more than 300 instructors and estimates that number could more than double in 2016.
By partnering with Cardio Sport, Japan-based Mizuno is tapping into a new audience of fitness enthusiasts to bolster sales for its running category, which saw a slight dip in the Americas during the second quarter of its fiscal year. The company recently reported that U.S. running sales slipped 3.2 percent in Q2 on a local-currency basis, compared with the previous year.
However, Mizuno has been working to “reinforce” its brand appeal through key partnerships, including deals with running groups such as the Atlanta Track Club.