Case Study: ASICS

  • Producer of sports equipment for a wide range of sports
  • 8,904 employees worldwide
  • Vision to create a world where everyone can achieve a sound body and a sound mind through movement

The Challenge

Kihachiro Onitsuka founded ASICS in 1949, aspiring to start a company that would contribute to nurturing youth and the development of society through sports. Right from the start the focus of the Japanese multinational corporation has been on enabling personal well-being for everybody. And this is still true today.

“If we look internally as a company, in the past years, but also continuing into the future, one of our internal strategic choices is to focus on our employees to build strong, engaged teams.”

Carmen Crane
EMEA Learning & Talent Development Manager at ASICS

In regular employee surveys, ASICS learned that their employees place high importance on having the opportunity to learn and grow. They started looking for innovative ways to help their people continue that development on an ongoing basis. Coaching was an option, but historically it had been exclusive and inaccessible. Those who received it were often placed very high up in the organization or were on the executive team, can only receive coaching in English or were part of a program with very limited coaching sessions. Moreover, traditional coaching used a lot of financial resources, it was quite difficult to coordinate and scale, and was not viable to offer as an extended L&D intervention.

“Trying to be more sustainable and reach more employees across the EMEA region, we were always trying to deliver our programs and interventions using a blended approach, looking for how we could shift things to a digital solution.”

Carmen Crane
EMEA Learning & Talent Development Manager at ASICS

In order to offer coaching at a larger scale and enable learning for employees across the organization, going digital was a possible solution. ASICS wanted to improve their scalability of L&D programs across the EMEA region, while focussing on sustainability. They needed a flexible and self-directed approach to ease coordination and planning costs. It was important for the company to create a powerful and personal coaching and learning experience for their employees and put the coachees more in the driver seat.

They wanted to offer something that targeted individuals, their personal
effectiveness and own experience, something they weren’t able to cover with a standard program. Within such a program ASICS hoped to achieve the goal of discovering high-potential talent, being able to plan succession and retain people within the organization.

The Result

Together with CoachHub, ASICS ran a pilot program with 10 high- potentials in their commercial team. Currently, they are running a six month coaching program with 20 senior leaders. CoachHub was able to offer a new approach to coaching, making it mobile and flexible. Coachees can easily drive the process, setting up their own preferences, personally selecting their coach and owning the scheduling component.

This digital approach allows ASICS to reach far across the EMEA locations to target talent. The system and approach allowed them to create a talent development program which was specifically focussed on individual coaching, making it completely personal and in their native language. Digital coaching decreases the need to move coaches and coachees around, making it more sustainable.

“We’ve seen a real increase in accountability, as I mentioned earlier about the coachee being in the driver’s seat. This is really quite a big change from the traditional programs, where we really do tell people when they need to show up and what they need to do. […] Everything from connecting to the platform, setting up their goals and focus areas to keeping track of their coaching sessions and making sure they show up, has all been really on them.”

Carmen Crane
EMEA Learning & Talent Development Manager at ASICS

The program has helped ASICS to target completely new audiences. In the pilot with CoachHub, among which there were leaders, but also professionals of all kinds, they were able to identify high-potentials within their commercial team.

“It is incredible to be able to offer a program that is relevant to such a diverse group of people. The focus moves away from grades to recognizing talent.”

Carmen Crane
EMEA Learning & Talent Development Manager at ASICS

The feedback showed how important it was for the participants to take time for their own development. They reached an average rating of 4.9 for the coaching so far. A lot of really positive feedback came in from the group.


My coach and I respect each other.


We agree on what is important for me to work on.


I feel that what I do in the coaching will help me
achieve the changes that I want.

“This group has completed 140 coaching sessions since the 1st of June.
That in itself is really encouraging to see, we are really happy with the engagement, the momentum and considering that it’s completely self-directed, we’re also really impressed with the number of coaching sessions we are seeing taking place.”

Carmen Crane
EMEA Learning & Talent Development Manager at ASICS

The platform shows many benefits in terms of tracking what the behavior is like. The dashboard is great for tracking sessions over time, measuring satisfaction etc. Additionally it shows the strength assessment of the group, all of which provide useful insights for L&D leaders to dig deeper and help plan for the future.

“From an L&D point of view I have to say, one of the easiest programs I’ve ever implemented and run!”

Carmen Crane
EMEA Learning & Talent Development Manager at ASICS

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