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Job Type:

Industry: Professional

Company: Shimano North America Holding

Product Line Specialist – Fresh Water Fishing Rods & Reels

Fish Division

Shimano North America Holding, Inc. is a global company that produces products for bicycling and fishing markets. Our fishing division produces and sells products under the Shimano, G. Loomis and Power Pro brands.

We are seeking a Product Line Specialist – Freshwater Fishing Rods & Reels to join our team! At Shimano, we welcome your talent, innovation, and enthusiasm.

We offer an exceptional array of employee benefits and incentives and are proud to support our employees’ health and happiness. We offer paid time off, medical, dental, vision, employer-matching 401k, wellness incentives, a fully equipped on-site gym, rideshare, and much more.

Job Summary:

The Product Line Specialist (PLS) – is responsible managing both fishing rod and reel products throughout the products lifecycle. Primary responsibilities include ongoing market research into current and potential future product trends, changing product requirements, measuring product successes and evaluating competitor developments. It is a requirement for this position to complete a two (2) year assignment at Shimano’s global headquarters in Sakai, Japan. This position will report; to the Senior Manager of the Product Planning Team.

Job Level:

Entry to Mid-Level

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

Phase 1 Requirement:

Develop an understanding of the North American fishing tackle market.


  • Develop knowledge of the size and share of the market of each major fishery which includes:
  • Bass
  • Other Freshwater species
  • General use
  • Within each major fishery, determine the most influential sub-markets along with size and share. Gain the following knowledge of product ranges for each major fishery:
  • Key products
  • Size and share of
    • EX: Low profile baitcast reel, round baitcast reel
  • Size and share by price
  • Size and share by competitor
  • Determine past and present “trends” in each major fishery and how each fishery transitioned over the last 5 years.

Competitive Landscape

  • Continuously obtain an understanding of the competitive landscape. Conduct competitive assessments.
  • Develop core competencies in competitors’ product performance. Gain thorough knowledge of products by learning what are they good at and why.
  • Determine their market approach/strategy.
  • Research markets they do/do not touch
  • Understand key market strengths/weaknesses
  • Study competitors’ history and future.
  • What is their reputation now?
  • Where does it look like they are going?
  • Determine market share by category

Business Operations

  • Learn and embody team Shimano’s Mission and Philosophies
  • Understand how and why we do business the way we do
  • Gain significant knowledge of how the fishing market operates at the trade level
  • Learn distribution model, customer types and ranges
  • Substantial study of various internal teams at Shimano American
  • Determine sales structure
  • Understand pricing/terms/commissions, etc.

Time allocation during training period

Office: 35%

  • Learn SMN business process and KPI
  • Build reports
  • Know SMN team/resources
  • Interdepartmental immersion

Retailer visits/work: 25%

  • First hand consumer experience/requirements
  • What is value at the shop?
  • How does retailer sell and consumer buy?

Fishing: 40%

  • Substantial understanding of SMN performance and competitor performance
  • Develop a vision for how SMN can innovate with our capabilities

Phase 2 Requirements: Overseas Assignment

  • Reports to Fishing Division planning senior manager
  • Learn total Team Shimano product planning process
  • Total immersion into Shimano’s design/development process
  • Broaden understanding of development and manufacturing
  • Study pre-planning, market segmentation and lifecycle management
  • Create product proposals
  • Maintain year product plans
  • Represent the OVS markets in planning decisions and strategy
  • Lead various projects as assigned

Phase 3 Requirements: Return to Shimano North America as Product Line Manager

  • Apply experience to review/improve the product management process
  • Total product line management responsibilities

Job Qualifications:

  • Thorough knowledge and passion for fishing and associated products.
  • 1-3 years’ experience in market research or product line planning
  • Requires general business skills, industry knowledge, financial management and planning skills.
  • Possess a unique blend of business and technical savvy.
  • Demonstrate market intelligence in the fish arena to assist and guide Sales, Promotions, Service and Supply Chain in the continued growth.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of management in an organized and professional manner. Strong presentation skills.
  • Ability to utilize judgment in decision making process and decisions related to job tasks
  • Excellent customer service skills. Must establish credibility and build positive and professional relationships with customers.
  • Ability to work with teams. Effectively establish and maintain working relationship with all levels within the company, internally, externally and cross culturally.
  • Project and time management skills. Must have the ability to prioritize and complete tasks.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Analytical and problem solving skills. Significant data gathering/analysis/reporting
  • Must be reliable and resourceful.
  • Extensive travel. Must be willing to travel extensively.
  • Overseas assignment.
  • Basic understanding of the Japanese language or willingness to learn


Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field/discipline or equivalent combination of education and experience as required for specific job level.

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job. Shimano North America reserves the right to modify and change responsibilities and duties herein without notice.

Shimano North America is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.

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