Dethronement in the Golf Ball Industry

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CASE STUDY. This case looks at the dethronement of Titleist, a dominant player in the golf ball industry.


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Dethronement in the Golf Ball Industry: Abstract

For decades, Titleist was the dominant player in the golf ball industry partly due to its strong technical performance and popularity among professional golfers. As a result of its technical superiority and the mystical image it had cultivated, Titleist’s brand was revered by consumers. Its domination began to fade in the 2010s, however, as its competitors introduced balls that offered similar quality, but at a more affordable price. Moreover, Titleist lost several major patent infringement lawsuits.

Finally, in February 2020, the golf industry’s regulatory authorities, who were in charge of establishing the specifications to be met by ball manufacturers, announced that they would be investigating the possibility of adjusting existing specifications, a move that could harm manufacturers, such as Titleist, that were trying to differentiate their products through R&D.

Teaching objectives

To help students understand the actions that an industry leader can take to avoid being dethroned by its competitors.

Main themes covered

  • Dethronement

Additional information

Teachers’ notes are available for university teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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