New Balance

Topics: Athletic shoe, Corporate social responsibility, Shoe Pages: 3 (821 words) Published: March 23, 2011
BACKGROUND
“Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host.” – NEW BALANCE MISSION (Veleva, 2010, p.3) Founded in Boston Massachusetts in 1906, New Balance Inc. is a privately held company that is focused on the manufacturing of high quality athletic shoes. With a ‘function over fashion’ approach the company has developed as a major player within the industry, and is currently one of the top five shoe manufacturers in the world . Initially New Balance produced arch supports and orthopedic shoes, marketed to provide relief from orthopedic problems. In 1962 the company shifted its focus with the development of the first ever performance running shoe named The Trackster. This invention gave New Balance a growing reputation of manufacturing innovative and specialized shoes that it continues to uphold to this day . Acquired by entrepreneur James Davis in 1972 New Balance began to experience growth, which was especially significant through the 1990s. This was largely a result of a series of acquisitions of brands such as Dunham, Warrior and Brine (Veleva, 2010, p.3). These new brands expanded the company’s product line to include apparel, athletic accessories and sports equipment. By 2008 the company earned sales of approximately $1.6 billion and was the 2nd largest producer of athletic shoes in the United States after Nike . New Balance today is the only the company that produces shoes within the United States, which accounts for approximately 25% of its production (Veleva, 2010, p.3). The rest of its suppliers are located in a variety of locations including China, Indonesia, Taiwan and Cambodia (Veleva, 2010, p.3). COMPETITION – Differentiation Strategy

In comparison to its competitors, New Balance has differentiated itself through its products, marketing strategy, and strong inherent commitment to corporate social responsibility. This differentiation...
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