History of New Balance

In: Other Topics

Submitted By rebec190
Words 450
Pages 2
History
In 1906, William J. Riley, a 33 year old English immigrant, founded the New Balance Arch Support Company, which manufactured arch supports and other accessories designed to improve shoe fit, in Boston, Massachusetts. His first product, a flexible arch support, was designed with three points of support in the shape of a triangle. These points created greater balance and comfort in the shoe. It's believed that Riley came up with the name "New Balance" by observing chickens in his yard and demonstrated the way his arch supports worked by keeping a chicken foot on his office desk to demonstrate. He would explain to customers that the chicken's three clawed foot resulted in perfect balance.

In 1927, Riley hired Arthur Hall to be a salesman and in 1934, Hall became a business partner and soon found his niche by marketing his products to people whose jobs required them to spend much time standing.

In 1956, Hall sold the business to his daughter Eleanor and her husband Paul Kidd.

Eleanor and Paul continued to sell mainly arch supports until 1960, when they designed and manufactured the "Trackster," the world's firstrunning shoe made with a ripple sole. It was also the first running shoe to come in varying widths. The "Trackster" was given a big boost through the YMCA programs where it became the unofficial shoe of the program. College track teams such as MIT, Tufts University andBoston University adopted the New Balance Trackster for their cross-country teams soon to be followed by other colleges and private high schools around the country.s

Marketing was mostly by word-of-mouth or local sports fairs, and sales languished, until 1972, when current Chairman Jim Davis bought the company on the day of the Boston Marathon. At the time, the company consisted of just six people making 30 pairs of shoes daily and selling products mostly through mail-order with…...

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