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Callaway Golf Company

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Callaway Golf Company- Written Case Assignment

Section I. Summary

Callaway Golf Company began to take form in 1983, after Ely Reeves Callaway Jr. sold Callaway Vineyard and Winery for a $9 million dollar profit. Shortly after the sell of the winery, Callaway ventured in to the golf equipment industry and bought 50 percent of Hickory Stick USA. Callaway knew from the very beginning that this company's profits were limited as long as the product line wasn't changing. "Callaway noticed that most golf equipment had changed very little since the 1920s and believed that , due to the difficulty of the game of golf, recreational golfers would be willing to invest in high-tech, premium-priced clubs if such clubs could improve their game by being more forgiving of a less-than-optimum swing." (Thompson, c205) Callaway then purchased the company outright and changed the name to Callaway Hickory Stick USA and then hires Richard Helmstetter as the companies' chief club designer. With the help of five aerospace engineers, Helmstetter developed line of clubs that was set apart form competing brands by its technological innovation. In 1988, the S2H2 was launched as well as another name change to Callaway Golf Company. In 1992, sales are more than double recent years and Callaway Golf Company goes public and begins trading on the NYSE. Throughout the 90's, Callaway leads the golf equipment industry with ongoing new lines of clubs and eventually adds golfing apparel. Donald Dye, Callaway's new CEO, took the much of the blame for the downturn in Callaway Golf Company. Dye was ultimately responsible for initiatives that took managements focus off golf clubs. The company's financial and market performance suffered immensely in 1998 causing Ely Callaway to return to rebuild the company. The textbook states on page c208, "Ely Callaway's first efforts upon his return to active management at Callaway Golf were to 'direct resources---talent, energy, and money--- in an ever-increasing degree toward the creation, design, production, sale and service of new and better products.'" In Callaway's turnaround strategy, he initiated a restructuring program and operational improvements. By the end of 1998, Callaway's strategies allowed the company to regain it s technological leadership.

Callaway's approach to building competitively important resources and capabilities caused the success of Callaway Golf Company. This was achieved through its exploitation of unique resource strengths and competitive capabilities that were unmatched by many of its rivals in the industry. Helmstetter and his engineering team were very important to the execution of Callaway Golf's competitive strategy. Callaway Golf Company consistently outspent its rivals in the industry on R&D which "allowed it to continually beat its competitors to the market with new innovations." (P c210) In 1994, Callaway Golf opened the Helmstetter Test Center located a mile away from the main campus. The Helmstetter Test Center had two primary uses; it provided an ideal place to custom-fit clubs for the touring pros who used Callaway equipment, and it allowed Callaway R&D staff to test new products in the developmental stage. The development of new products at Callaway Golf Company not only included the research and development staff but also the sales and advertising staff. These teams worked hand in hand together. When the R&D would come up with a new product idea, the sales and advertisement staff would look over this idea and recommend changes based on the current market interests.

"Callaway's customer service department was viewed as a critical component of the company's overall level of differentiation." (p. c215) Even before handling any customer service inquiry, each customer service representative received eight weeks of training since the entire customer service staff was empowered to make a final decision regarding a consumer or retailer complaint or warranty claim. In other golf equipment companies, this kind of decision would normally be handled by the CEO and no one else. The strategies that Callaway had designed and passed down kept this company rolling. The wholesale value of golf equipment sales in the United States had declined from 1999 to 2001. Most manufacturers believed that industry growth had been limited by slow economic conditions. Then in 2003, challenges confronted Callaway Golf Company. These issues included a softening economy in most major markets for golf clubs, declining industry growth rate, the entry of new rivals and onerous regulations limiting golf club performance.

Section II. Industry and Firm Analysis

The golf equipment industry is basically a manufacturing business that designs, develops and manufactures innovative golf clubs, and distributes golf related equipment and supplies.

Industry Analysis-

1. What are the industry's dominant economic features?

a. Market size- $3 billion total U.S. Market share and $7 billion worldwide

Golf accessories represent the single largest sector with a share of 21.3%.

Fitness and athletics equipment account for a further 13.7%.

Global Sports Equipment Market Segmentation

Year: 2003

Category Percentage

Others 0.476

Golf 0.213

Fitness/Athletics 0.137

Fishing 0.123

Racquets 0.051

Global Sports Equipment Market Value Forecast

Unit: USD

Year Value Growth

2003 85661600000 0.008

2004 86947900000 0.015

2005 88410700000 0.017

2006 90175200000 0.02

2007 92090900000 0.021

2008 94113700000 0.022




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