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Strategic fit analysis of Gilbert sports Equipment Company - Essay Example

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Gilbert Sports Equipment Company is the UK based manufacturer of sporting goods, mainly specialising in Rugby union balls and balls used in Netball. It was established by William Gilbert in the year 1823, as he along with his nephew, James, started making balls and boots for football…
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However, when the rules of Rugby and thereby rules regarding ball shapes and sizes got formalized in the early part of the 20th century and with availability of Rubber bladders, Gilbert Sports Company started making the modern Rugby balls. Although, the company changed hands quite a few times, the company continued to modernise and update the quality of the balls through the second part of the 20th century particularly during the 1980’s and 90’s. It was during the same period, they developed the first range of balls for Netball. However, it fell into the debt trap in 2002, and so it was acquired by another sports equipment maker, Grays of Cambridge in the same year. It continues to function with a lot of autonomy and even diversified into other product segments, with Grays of Cambridge ‘stewarding’ it. Thus, after rising from the internal crisis in 2002, Gilbert under Grays ownership has been able to consolidate its position. However, there are certain factors in its macro and micro environment, which could impact as well as influence its functioning. Market Environment Analysis Certain factors in the external environment as well as in the ‘immediate’ external environment will always influence the functioning and the strategies formulation of any organizations in the sport equipment manufacturing sector. Gilbert is no exception to it, as it can be controlled by the factors in the macro-environment, and also by factors in the micro-environment. Both these macro and micro factors can be collected and assessed in a detailed manner through certain analytical tools. The macro environment of Gilbert can be assessed through PEST analysis, while its micro-environment can be analyzed through Porters’ Five Forces. PEST Analysis Political When one focuses on the political factors in Gilbert’s external environment, the UK government can play both a regulatory and constructive role. Regulatory role in the sense, government with its regulations on quality, advertising, pricing, etc., influences the production processes of sports equipment companies including Gilbert. Constructive role in the sense, the UK government through programs like Schools Sports Partnership provide funds to schools to buy sports equipments and construct other infrastructures, so the children can have an active lifestyle with good fitness levels. Although, the UK government had “plans to end funding for the Schools Sports Partnership program, it was forced to back down as a result of pressure from top athletes, educators and school children themselves.” (caloo.co.uk 2011). Economic The economic aspect of the UK Sports Equipment manufacturing and retail market shows a positive picture, because it “is valued at US$4.1 billion and grew at a CAGR of 4.19% for the period 2004-2008.” (Reportlinker 2009). However, with the British economy showing little signs of full recovery from the 2008 economic recession, and threatening to go into recession again, the prospects of these sport equipment manufacturing organisations could also suffer. “Bank of England policymakers agree that Britain's stalled economy will fail to pick up in the current fourth quarter, according to minutes of their last meeting published on Wednesday.” (AFP 2011). If this situation continues, there could be lack of readily available finance options because of credit crunch, and this will make the consumers cut back on their non-essential ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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