Recruiting a product manager for digital running service My ASICS

As part of its new Digital Marketing team, a unit of the Global Sales and Marketing division, ASICS is looking for a Product Lead, Digital Running Services and Partnerships, to take care of our My ASICS running training programs service. A product manager with a passion for awesome user experience, you’ll be responsible for the success of our services.

[Update 1 February 2012: through the Adaptive Path alumni network, we found an awesome product manager, Alex Mrvaljevich, from Venzuela by way of Croatia. He has a beard.] [PPS. I am actually only posting this on 9 April, but sue me.]

Tasks description (75% of activity prescribed, key activities in bold)

Lead the product development and successful roll-out of the ASICS digital running services strategy, and in particular:

  • product management of the My ASICS service (an existing online personal running training program, and a future online running community platform), including development of new content and features, maintenance of existing content and features, user experience management, testing, user support, coordination of suppliers and internal stakeholders such as the ASICS Institute of Sport Science, project management and reporting, quality assurance (50%)
  • internal sales of the product, coordination, such as liaison with the global Web Working Group on strategy and positioning, liaison with regions and countries on local execution and support (20%)
  • oversee the digital extensions of in-store Running Services projects such as FOOT ID (personal foot measurement and product advice system), Running Lab (personal sport ability assessment system), and the Running Club (store-based running facilities and activities)
  • establish partnerships with running event organizers and other relevant stakeholders to integrate ASICS Running Services in the event promotion package, and evaluate and optimize the efficiency of the integration, in coordination with Sports Marketing staff
  • contribute to potential partnerships with manufacturers of electronic devices and ASICS product development staff (watch, GPS, heart rate monitor, podometer, apparel with data capture, display or intelligent fabric, etc.)
  • ensure the compliance of ASICS Digital Running Services with applicable legal and regulatory constraints, as well as established best practices in privacy protection
  • over time, design, recruit and manage the ASICS Digital Running Services team

Analysis of usage patterns (web analytics), database of consumer information (CRM), industry intelligence, consumer research, reporting, and in particular definition and implementation of success metrics generally accepted across the company (5%)

Results areas

  1. KPIs:
    • territories where ASICS Running Services are available
    • number of active users of ASICS Running Services
    • satisfaction of ASICS Running Services users
    • number of active partnerships
  2. Make best use of existing resources, both ASICS infrastructure and third-party services, wherever relevant. Focus on obtaining value from current infrastructure before developing new systems. Develop shared usage of infrastructure across the world.
  3. Prioritization and independent achievement of own tasks. Participation in team and department activities, including planning, budgeting, reporting, and presentation.

Relation pattern


  • Report to the global digital marketing manager
  • Agree implementation with regional/local marketing heads
  • Solidarity with global digital marketing team members, and regional/country digital communications team members. Occasionally back up colleagues for everyday activities
  • Coordinate direct marketing activities with global head of CRM
  • Manage the involvement of the ASICS Institute of Sport Science
  • Share information, get feedback and gather content from marketing, product marketing, and retail colleagues


  • Subsidiaries and distributors: advice, coordination, training, support
  • Agencies and suppliers: briefing, coordination, execution
  • Press contacts: inform and answer questions

Typical day

09:00-09:45 Review consumer feedback on Get Satisfaction, answer some questions and forward some issues to the Institute of Sport Science for further details. Review traffic and usage numbers. Send preliminary traffic results of a campaign to a country marketing head: good performance of a co-branded email sent on behalf of a retailer, poor performance of banner ads around a sport event.

09:45-10:00 SCRUM call with the development team: ensure current burning issue is being addressed, and they have all necessary information. Today, no follow-up required.

10:00-11:00 Meeting with retail team about in-store signup kiosks: make a presentation of a joint proposal you’ve put together with a retail team colleague over the past couple of weeks. Choose physical setup and agree project plan for systems development and roll-out across all ASICS stores.

11:00-11:30 Follow-up on the meeting: finalize the brief, send out to production agencies (web design and technology partners), ensure budget forecast is up to date.

11:30-13:00 Prepare meeting with Institute of Sport Science: collate consumer feedback, internal stakeholder views, and database analysis about the perceived and measured success of the training plans, and collate into a report.

13:00-13:45 Lunch with Institute of Sport Science staff who are visiting HQ and some Digital Marketing and Retail colleagues.

13:15-15:45 Meeting with Institute of Sport Science and a user experience designer from one of our agencies: present report, discuss consequences, sketch solutions on the white board, agree action list. A colleague from the Digital Marketing team is drafting the list, and ensuring project planning is realistic. She will follow up on Basecamp.

15:45-16:00 Gaze out the window: good job in this last meeting!

16:00-18:00 Answer emails, and in particular answer questions from a country marketing head about a possible launch of the My ASICS service in their territory (translation and localization costs, user support costs, availability of compatible marketing activities). Briefly consider purchasing RunKeeper, decide against it (they ain’t sellin’). Process a couple of invoices for the payment of suppliers.

Job requirements

Basic competencies

  1. Strong teamwork skills, ability to tackle conflicts in a productive manner
  2. Flexibility to deal with evolving team and individual objectives and market conditions
  3. Proactive, independent, responsible attitude
  4. Good written and verbal communication (clear, accurate, complete, actionable) in English

Must have

  1. Analytical thinker, strong listening skills, ability to identify strategic issues
  2. Proven creativity, ability to develop new product ideas for consumer use
  3. Experience with user research and testing (lab, field), prototyping, iterative development
  4. Experience with digital product or service design and management

Should have

  1. Ability to convince, involve and motivate people across organizations
  2. Experience with user support (helpdesk), empathy and patience with end users, and managing large online communities
  3. Long-distance runner or excellent understanding of runners, practice of other sports
  4. Strong background in interaction design, user experience design, information architecture

Like to have

  1. Fluent in several operation languages (esp. Japanese, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Chinese)
  2. Affinity with scientific research into human activities (protocols, documentation, etc.)
  3. Comfortable with public speaking and experience presenting to large audiences
  4. Experience with hybrid operations (in-store + digital)


The position is located in Kobe or Tokyo, Japan. Alternate locations (Irvine, California; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Sydney, Australia) may be considered.

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