COREY DYKSTRA ON BRUNSWICK’S ACQUISITION OF EBONITE INTERNATIONAL

When the opportunity arose for Brunswick to purchase the assets of Ebonite International, Brunswick CEO Corey Dykstra pondered two prevailing thoughts: his enthusiasm for Ebonite International’s brands, and a lingering numbers problem that reflected the challenges of the consumer products side of the bowling industry.

“The four brands that we acquired are amazing consumer products with a great heritage, and we are really excited to be able to drive innovation with now seven brands of bowling balls,” Dykstra says of adding Ebonite, Hammer, Track and Columbia 300 to Brunswick’s fold of brands that includes its DV8, Radical and Brunswick lines of balls. “ I am confident we’re going to deliver outstanding products to the bowlers.”

Dykstra also addressed that numbers problem.

“I don’t know how many people are aware of this, but both manufacturing plants [Ebonite’s in Hopkinsville, Ky., and Brunswick’s in Reynosa, Mexico] were operating at less than full capacity,” Dykstra said. “That certainly creates challenges.”

When Brunswick began planning its Reynosa plant more than 15 years ago, Dykstra said, “the market was well over 2 million bowling balls, whereas today it’s probably in the 1.6 to 1.7 million range at best. If you go back even further, into the 1990s, it was well over 3 million.

“The decline in league bowling over the past 20 years certainly has made it a challenging business, and challenging businesses are hard to invest in,” Dykstra added. “When you have more efficient use of manufacturing capacity, it enables us to invest more in people and technology than we did in the past.”

The “people” side of that equation very much involves EBI employees who lost their jobs when the Hopkinsville plant shut down on Nov. 15. Adding four additional brands to Brunswick’s line puts the company in a position of needing people to manage, market and deliver those brands. Who better to do that than the people who know them best?

“We need help in sales, marketing and research and development to try to manage those brands now,” Dykstra said. “We’re certainly excited to bring many of the Ebonite International team onto our team if they’re interested and it works for them. We are certainly open to and excited about talking with as many of those folks who are interested in working for Brunswick as we can and plan to do that as soon as possible.”

For much more on this breaking story, go to: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/brunswick-ceo-corey-dykstra-on-ebonite-acquisition/

 

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