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Mizuno | Mike Mango

Mizuno The Mezamashii Run Project


1% SOS in the running category, 80% of runners buy the same shoe (shoe inertia) and a previously failed shoe launch.


The odds were stacked too high against us to win in-store and Running Junkies, true runners, know a great run from an ordinary run.

We took the shoe trial experience out of the store and on the road and created “word of foot”


We cut our $1.5 million media budget in half. We spent the first half putting free Mizunos on Running Junkies’ feet in a program we called the Mezamashii Run Project. The second half would be spent doing what we could to engage people in the project.

Media:  Digital, Mobile, Direct Mail, Print, Social, Influencers, Experiential, Video

Media had a major role in bringing this project to life.  First, we needed to identify key Running Junkie influencers, from bloggers to running club leaders and celebrities, that would receive one of 600 handmade direct mail invitations..

After teasing the campaign with our core influencers we used highly targeted display and rich-media online banners on major running websites, including Runner’s World, Women’s Running, Active.com, Running Times and Facebook, while small-space print ran in Runner’s World. We also formed partnerships with Map My Run, Runner’s World and Active.com to activate first to market programs designed to reward people who joined the community. These programs compelled people who were already part of the project to showcase why they had joined and to entice people who hadn’t yet joined.

  • Our partnership with Map My Run was to create the “Mezamashii Mile” promotion. The idea was to place hidden miles around the country and when runners and frequent users of Map My Run track their runs they could possibly unlock a hidden mile a win a pair of Mizuno running shoes
  • We partnered with Runners World to tap into an insight that runners frequently record and display their runs on social media we encouraged runners to submit photos and videos using Twitter, Vine, and Instagram of their sensational, energized, Mezamashii runs using the hastag #mezamashiirun.
  • We created a partnership with Active.com where Mizuno purchased race entries at select races in markets across the country. Should a race participant decide to take Mizuno up on the offer to buy an entry – which typically cost around $100 – the runner would then sign up to join the community and receive a free Mezamashii t-shirt to wear at the race.

The Mezamashii Run Project engaged 19,504 Mizuno runners and Mezamashii Run Project members.
It welcomed 100,000 new unique visitors to mizunorunning.com, an increase of 52% and gained 25% more Twitter followers.  And more importantly Mizuno saw immediate growth in strong specialty store sales and quickly achieved a three-year share high.

Mizuno Mezamashii Run Project Invitation