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Dethronement in the Golf Ball Industry

Case 9 40 2021 011
Case published in the International Journal of Case Studies in Management, Vol. 19, No. 4
Author : 
Languages : 
  • English
  • Golf ball,
  • Industry leader,
  • Industry challengers,
  • Dethronement
Year of production : 
Registration date : 
Teaching notes included : 

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.

Primary domain : 
Management  - Strategy
Secondary domain : 
Marketing  - Sales
Sectors : 
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
Source : 
HEC Montréal
Type : 
Traditional case (Decision-making case)
Type of data used in the production of the case : 
Factual data that is public and free of potentially litigious content
Event location : 
Year of start of the event : 
Year the event ended : 
Not available
Business size : 
Large enterprise
Main themes covered


Teaching objectives

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

Concepts and theories related to the case