Congratulations to Allan Russell on his retirement and for the incredible success that he has achieved during his last 6 years as ASICS Corporation Oceania – Managing Director. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and I wish you all the very best in your next chapter. Thank you for all of your support! https://lnkd.in/g9fXkDH
Here is a recent article:
New Zealanders have been known to call Australia its western island – to go with the north and south islands – but the pull of home is strong for Allan Russell.
He is retiring from his Sydney-based role as managing director of ASICS Oceania at the end of March and returning to Auckland for the next chapter in his 40 year career in the sports goods industry, reports Editor Maggie Coleman..
Russell (pictured) has worked with the ASICS brand for much of that 40 years, and has “had 12 wonderful years” working in Australia and the rest of his bailiwick in NZ and the Pacific Islands.
Now he feels it is the “right time to return home and re-introduce myself to my family” which includes three grandsons, despite the brand’s wish for him to continue in his current role.
“I still have plenty of energy and will be working out of Auckland as a consultant,” he says.
Russell began in NZ sports retail in 1978, moving to the wholesale side of the fence in 1979 when he joined Allan. G. Mitchell Sports which focussed on the outdoor market including hunting and fishing.
In 1989, he joined long-term wholesaler Brittain Wynyard and started with the ASICS brand – “we had three shoes to sell, so we hit the road…”
In 2017, ASICS Oceania has 250 sports SKUs, and 150 fashion SKUs for the Onitsuka and ASICS Tiger brands, Russell says.
And Brittain Wynyard are the longest-serving ASICS distributor world-wide, with 44 years service, working closely with Russell’s Oceania team in the Eastern Creek head office.
In July 2006, Russell crossed the Tasman to join the Sydney team as Oceania general manager of sales and marketing.
And in 2011, he was appointed managing director, as ASICS appointed local management in its various regions, “a successful move for the global brand, boosting sales numbers enormously and growing the culture.”
Highlights of his tenure have included the development of Australian football boots in 1995, the first netball shoes in 1998, the sponsorship of cricket in 2011 and signing the Wallabies in 2015.
In 2010, the rapidly growing company moved into its Eastern Creek headquarters and , says Russell, will have to move again in 2019 as operations double again, “ an indication of just how much we have grown,” he says.
Another development which makes Russell proud is his appointment to the boards of ASICS India and of ASICS Asia Pacific (covering Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines), using Oceania as a model for emerging footwear markets.
“We bring many shoes we have developed such as cricket, netball and football to these markets,” he says.
“I have had 12 wonderful years working with Australian retailers, and the industry has been going through huge changes, including buying habits of consumers and the entrance of global retailers to the marketplace.
“The industry has to be nimble and agile, ready to adapt to continuing change – make a statement, he advises.
“Don’t sit and wait till change comes to you!“
• Russell is “delighted to announce his successor as managing director of ASICS Oceania – Mark Brunton will join on February 1.”
Brunton is well-known to most in the industry, latterly in the role of General Manager Merchandise – Amart Sports and Workout World and project manager for the Amart merger into Rebel.
Brunton spent almost nine years at Tooheys and five with Optus before joining Super Retail Group in August 2011 as executive general manager retail for Rebel and Amart.
He has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management.
Originally published by Slinski