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New Balance Case Study

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Submitted By sophiedb
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Case Study #1: New Balance

Introduction New Balance is a global athletic shoe and apparel company, founded in Boston in 1906 by a waiter named William J. Riley, who made arch supports for people who walked a lot (Veleva, 2010, p. 2). He began designing running shoes for local organizations and in the 1940s, New Balance was making custom shoes for many different sports, including running, basketball, baseball, tennis, and boxing and in the 1960s, started manufacturing shoes in varying widths in larger quantities (Veleva, 2010, p. 2). In 1972, the company was sold to James and Anne Davis for $100,000, who have owned New Balance ever since and in 2009, with James as chairman, and Anne as vice-chairman and executive vice-president, administration (Veleva, 2010, p. 2). James Davis saw great growth potential for the company after trying out the shoes himself (Veleva, 2010, p. 2). New Balance experienced enormous growth and its sales increased more than 600% between 1991 and 2008, achieving $1.61 billion in that year (Veleva, 2010, p. 3). The owners, James and Anne Davis had always operated New Balance in a socially responsible way, but did not have a formal CSR department or strategy for the business and did not advertise their CSR activities to the public (Veleva, 2010, p. 5). In 2006, James and Anne Davis formally integrated CSR into New Balance’s mission and values (Veleva, 2010, p. 5). Katherine Shepard, the company’s communications manager was promoted to the role of social responsibility manager in 2007, and her goals included maintaining its socially responsible culture when taking over new brands, increasing transparency to increase stakeholders’ trust, and becoming a CSR leader in the industry to keep up with CSR activities of competitors (Veleva, 2010, p. 1). Shepard joined the company after learning that their shoes are made in the United States (Veleva,…...

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