Master of The Games

Japan's leading sporting-goods maker takes aim at the U.S.

When Masato Mizuno succeeded his father as president of Mizuno Corp. in 1988, the largest sporting-goods maker in Japan was a stumbling giant. But the new boss swiftly installed automation equipment and used marketing savvy to get the family firm back on track. The revitalized company (1989 sales: $1 billion) last year captured a dominant 30% share of Japan's $1.3 billion market for golf and baseball equipment. Now it is launching a major drive into the U.S. and other countries. "Grandfather founded the company, and father introduced technological innovations," Masato says. "Now it's my turn to expand and truly internationalize it."


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