Case Study: ASICS

  • Producer of running shoes, active wear and athletic gear for a wide range of sports.
  • HQ in Kobe, Japan with 74 global consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates.

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 their development on an ongoing basis. Coaching was a consideration, but historically it had been exclusive and inaccessible. Those who received it were often on the executive team, only able to receive coaching in English or were part of a program with very limited coaching sessions. Moreover, traditional in-person coaching used a lot of financial resources and was quite difficult to coordinate and scale. As a result, coaching had not been 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, especially since ASICS wanted to improve their scalability of L&D programs across the EMEA region, while also focussing on sustainability. In order to achieve this, they needed a flexible and self-directed approach to ease coordination and planning costs. It was also important for the company to create a powerful and personal coaching and learning experience for their employees that also put the coachees more in the driver’s seat.

Through coaching, ASICS wanted to offer something that targeted individuals, their personal effectiveness and own experience, which was something they weren’t able to cover with a standard program. Within such a digital coaching program, ASICS also hoped to achieve the goal of discovering high-potential talent, succession planning and retaining people within the organization.

The Result

Together with CoachHub, ASICS developed coaching programs for both high-potentials in their current teams as well as executive coaching for senior leaders. CoachHub was able to offer a new digital approach to coaching, making it mobile and flexible. Coachees could also easily drive the process by setting up their own preferences, personally selecting their coach and owning the scheduling component.

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

“We’ve seen a real increase in accountability. 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 coaching program through CoachHub has helped ASICS to target completely new audiences throughout their organization. For example, they have been able to identify employees with leadership potential 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

Coachee feedback shows how important it was for the participants to take time for their own professional development. With an average rating of 4.9/5 for coaching sessions, ASICS leaders can see the positive impact coaching is having on their employees’ experience.


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.

“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 CoachHub platform includes many benefits in terms of tracking what the engagement behavior of users is like, while still remaining anonymous. For example, the dashboard tracks sessions over time and measures satisfaction. Additionally, it shows the strength assessment of the coachee group, all of which provide useful insights for L&D leaders as they 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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