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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Part 5 Mizuno

This is the dark horse of my equipment predictions. This Japanese company is relatively unknown in the US outside of baseball. The rest of the world sees Mizuno as a highly regarded athletics manufacturer. Their core products are in golf, but they also produce volleyball, tennis, cycling, soccer, and martial arts gear, shoes, and equipment. The Mizuno soccer shoes are all but nonexistent in the US, but British online stores feature them and they appear in televised European soccer matches from time to time. Mizuno has long been a leader of the Japanese athletics industry. It began as a small company importing baseball and golf equipment from the US before deciding (like most Japanese companies) that it could do better. The company quickly produced high quality goods that rivaled and then surpassed the American originals. As the sport grows in Japan, Mizuno will undoubtedly see a market and choose to capitalize on it.
There is a company in Japan currently producing lacrosse shafts for the home market known as Samurai. Samurai's shafts ( are very clean and classic; the kind of thing you would expect from a Japanese company. They lack the flair and flash of most contemporary US shafts. Still, their traditional look makes them beautiful and desirable. I would be proud to yield one of their weapons on the field.
Should Mizuno decide to pursue lacrosse, it is very likely that they would consume, or at least work very closely with, Samurai. Before long, the Japanese company would be able to produce sticks that rival the goods of long time US companies like Warrior and STX. Their bats are already highly coveted even with their premium prices. Perhaps that is due to their excellence at "America's pastime." Imagine what will happen when the Japanese invade lacrosse.

Continue to Part 6

Tribe 7