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OBO : Business evolution from table tennis to hockey


OBO, located in Palmerston North, a small town in the lower North Island of New Zealand, was founded in 1992, by Simon Barnett and his wife Fiona. It was Simon’s third business. The first was a business making table tennis tables and other table tennis equipment which Simon started to fund his University studies. In the early 80’s he took over the Ishan franchise. Ishan was a world leader in hockey equipment and in the time he held the franchise Simon lifted the brand to number one in New Zealand. OBO emerged out of the Ishan franchise when Simon had to manufacture some product to compete with new Slazenger products coming onto the market. That led to the setting up of OBO which within a very short time came to dominate the world market for protective equipment for hockey goalkeepers. This case study tracks the development of each business and centre on the challenge Simon faces in the need tackle significant production issues at the same time as he is presented with a major opportunity to take his hockey experience to the much larger cricket market.

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Case Description
Business Case Study NoUA-2005-021
Number of Pages9
CategoryDecision point; Teaching case
Teaching NotesTeaching notes available
CompanyOBO Hockey Equipment Limited
Setting - CountryNew Zealand
Setting - CityPalmerston North
IndustryManufacturing; Allied Domecq PLC

SourceAuckland, NZ. Publisher: University of Auckland Business Case Centre. Pages: 1 - 10