Fila takes on Nike chief for new top role

Former Nike sales manager Stuart Ryan has become the first UK marketing director for sportswear manufacturer Fila.

Ryan, who joined last week, follows the appointment of former Nike sales director Mike Baxter. He joined Fila last month as managing director.

Ryan’s task will be to challenge the top three players in the market, Nike, Reebok and Adidas, over the next five years. He was with Nike for six years, his most recent post being footwear sales manager.

Fila’s marketing budget is estimated at about 5m, and Ryan expects this to rise to about 7m next year.

Ryan says he will switch the brand’s advertising away from lifestyle advertising to sporting action, and will sign more sports stars to endorse the brand.

“We want to get back to the time when Bjorn Borg wore Fila and we were a much more aspirational brand,” says Ryan.

The sports figures on the brand’s roster include Italian skier Alberto Tomba, Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis, and Wales and West Ham striker John Hartson.

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