When ASICS America chose Boston as home for its new creation studio, CEO Gene McCarthy turned to T3 to lead the overall real estate strategy, site search, lease negotiation, and design and construction oversight. The result: an award-winning project that reflects the ASICS brand and gives the company a strong foothold in the thriving Boston shoe market.
Soon after being named President and CEO of ASICS America, Gene McCarthy was charged with launching a new Boston office for the company. As a hub for sneaker companies like New Balance, Reebok, Converse, and PUMA, Boston was an exciting, dynamic city ideal for ASICS in attracting top talent and building on the company’s recent rebranding. But it is also a mature and saturated market, making it crucial that ASICS’ real estate partner be able to help set the company apart from its competitors.
I had a real estate firm that helped us with our California space, and it didn’t work out too well. I didn’t like the corporate feel of it.
We began the project by assembling a cross-functional team of in-house specialists, including a financial analyst, project manager, workplace strategist, and Boston market experts. The team worked closely with ASICS to understand its business objectives, culture, and brand—factors that would inform everything from the site selection and lease negotiation to the project budget and timeline.
As ASICS’ local eyes, ears, and advocates in Boston, we managed a variety of stakeholders—including management teams in California and Japan—to ensure that the entire company was aligned around the Boston vision.
When I met the T3 team, I found that they were not only very, very talented and smart, but they were also as equally invested in this as we were. It never mattered what Roy or anybody on the team wanted. It only mattered what we wanted. I had never experienced anything like that.
We also thought carefully about finding a landlord that was the right fit for ASICS. We met with one landlord who had recently acquired an older downtown building, trying to revitalize it and attract more exciting tenants. Because we understood and believed in the ASICS brand, we were able to position ASICS to the landlord as an important part of the building’s rebirth.
Our work with ASICS in Boston was just one part of T3’s engagement with the company. Our workplace strategy team also worked with ASICS HR and Facilities groups to revamp the company’s Irvine, CA, headquarters café and NYC showroom workspace annex. The team also later helped ASICS Digital (formerly Runkeeper) with its 10,000 SF expansion in Boston, helping manage the layout, update furniture, and unify the brand.
If T3 has a skill, it’s both listening and understanding. In certain features of the building, they made us think out of the box. I think those personal moments actually not only make the space what it is today, but it actually made the process, quite frankly, as enjoyable as the space itself.
ASICS’ open, modern, 20,000-SF Boston creation studio is directly adjacent to and visible from Boston’s busiest transportation hub, South Station, allowing the team to attract the talent they sought. We were also able to forge a successful relationship between the building’s landlord and ASICS.
The creation studio was named Best Small Workplace in 2018 by CoreNet Global, New England, and the studio’s launch party in February 2018 attracted some of the community’s most prominent members, including Boston mayor Marty Walsh as well as two of ASICS’ sponsored Olympic athletes.
Additionally, the ASICS headquarters cafe, NYC showroom workspace, and ASICS Digital expansion now better reflect the company’s culture and branding, allowing the teams to continue to grow and attract excellent talent.
When you have a space that has a richness to it and a story to it, like this one does, I think it actually helps each of us elevate our own game. It makes us want to be better because the space is actually asking that of us.
Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes, as well as other athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories.