Content - Full-scale Japan launch of Swiss brand Odlo

  • June 19, 2018

Full-scale Japan launch of Swiss brand Odlo

Tokyo (SCCIJ) - Odlo International AG, developer of the high-performance Swiss apparel brand Odlo and based in Hünenberg, Switzerland, and the Japan Biathlon Federation, headquartered in Sapporo, have established a partnership. Through this partnership, Odlo will provide the Japanese biathlon team with high-performance sportswear that can handle the switch from dynamic, fluid cross-country skiing to the steady and focused pace of shooting, all under harsh conditions. With these new ties to the Japan Biathlon Federation, Odlo renews its push into the Japanese market.

Logo of Odlo

Fifth global partnership

Combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, biathlon is an event at the Winter Olympics and is rated one of Europe’s most popular sports. Through their products with revolutionary features, Odlo International will continue to support athletes in enhancing their performance in the Japanese market as well as across the globe, the company said (link in Japanese). Odlo has previously partnered with skiing and biathlon federations from the world's athletic powerhouses of Norway and Switzerland; Japan is now the fifth country to team up with the brand. 

Achieving a full-scale launch in Japan in spring 2018, the brand is currently rolling out to mass market retailers across the country with a fresh presence in 127 stores of the Japanese sportswear retailer Supersports Xebio. The Swiss brand had already entered the Japanese market nine years ago with the help of the importer Zenoah, a subsidiary of the Zett Corporation. Odlo also opened its first brand store in Tokyo in June 2009. At that time, the firm said it would pursue a long-term strategy in Japan.

Odlo CEO Christophe Bézu and Hiroaki Ibe, President of the Japan Biathlon Federation (© Odlo International)

Odlo CEO Christophe Bézu and Hiroaki Ibe, President of the Japan Biathlon Federation (© Odlo International)

“From the skin up”

Odlo was born in Norway in 1946, taken over by Odd Roar Junior in 1979 and relocated to Switzerland in 1986, entering a country famed for its craftsmanship. The brand’s corporate policy focuses on products that stay one step ahead, offering sportswear equipped with revolutionary features. Odlo enjoys strong support in other sports besides the biathlon, particularly within Europe.  

In 1987 Odd Roar Junior and his partners launched the groundbreaking Athletic Clothing System, based on the three-layer principle. The first layer, the underwear, is designed to ensure optimum moisture management. The second layer helps to regulate the wearer's temperature, while the third layer provides protection from wind and rain. In 1994 Odlo launched its Running and Outdoor collections.  

Over the years, Odlo has always designed its clothing in line with the principle of "from the skin up". Every range of clothing is designed from the inside out, because athletes can only really enjoy their sport and perform at their very best when they feel good - from the skin up. 

Pioneering fabric for underwear

The company achieved another major breakthrough in the area of fabric technology in 2002 with the development of the Effect by Odlo fabric and the launch of the first underwear range to incorporate odor-reducing silver ions. Within two years, all the company's underwear was made from this new fabric.

In 2003 Odlo's image was given a makeover. A comprehensive rebranding exercise resulted in a new logo, a clear market positioning and a new philosophy: "passion for sports". The new image appealed to retailers and end consumers alike and over the next few years this was reflected by double-digit growth in sales. 

Success with Nordic Walking

With the launch of its Nordic Walking collection in 2004, Odlo was quick to recognize the emergence of a new trend. In this way it was able to position itself as the market leader in this particular segment right from the start. One year later came the universal, high-performance "Just One" T-shirt. Its double-knit technology helps the wearer to keep cool when temperatures start to rise. The company's investment in research and development was paying off.

In 2006 another milestone was achieved with the launch of Cubic. This ultra-lightweight, knitted fabric has a three-dimensional cubic construction to ensure optimum temperature regulation. Cubic was integrated into the sports underwear range and has been recognized with a number of awards.  


Text: SCCIJ partly with material of Odlo International AG; Photos: Odlo International AG

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