In this issue, Golfing Magazine New England begins a new series focusing on New England-based golf equipment companies. While a number of firms now call the Sunbelt States home, others continue to find our region an ideal place to do business for a variety of reasons. The first company we will look at is Champ, a major supplier of golf cleats and other footwear products. Champ’s global headquarters has been in Massachusetts since 1931.
New England is home to a number of footwear brands. Indeed, most U.S.-made footwear was at one time manufactured in the region and some major shoe companies started in New England remain today, such as FootJoy, New Balance, Reebok and Etonic to name just a few.
In 1931, Harold MacNeill established MacNeill Engineering Worldwide in Waltham, Ma. After about a decade of diverse manufacturing initiatives, MacNeill began developing athletic shoe components including golf spikes. This division became known as Champ, and the company has grown by leaps and bounds since then with offices all over the world, as well as multiple manufacturing facilities.
“The Champ global headquarters has been in Massachusetts since our beginning back in 1931,” says Jess Aversa, Marketing Manager/Tour Coordinator. “As we continue to expand globally we find that Massachusetts is the perfect place for us. We are able to run our global operations from this location, while still having easy access to Europe, Asia and our many global offices.”
Champ is considered one of the world’s foremost and largest designers and manufacturers of innovative traction technology for athletic and industrial footwear.
Says Aversa, “We are a diverse company in that we are the only company to manufacture cleats for all sports. We have earned the reputation of being the world leader in sport cleat technology through our consistent use of technical engineering ability and passionate commitment to our customers. A private family-owned global corporation is one of the best types of corporations to work for, as we all operate as one global family.”
The company has produced a number of break-through products. For instance, Champ’s new Zarma spikes combines the solid traction found in all of the company’s high-performance spikes with additional comfort. With a three material composition, Champ Zarma is constructed with an innovative soft cushion layer sandwiched between a durable traction layer and a rigid attachment layer.
Champ’s global headquarters is located at 140 Locke Drive in Marlborough. The 15,000-square-foot facility houses corporate functions of sales, marketing, finance, engineering, and product development along with warehouse and packaging operations for specialty products.
There are 20 professional staff positions at the headquarters. Typically, a large percentage of these individuals are traveling globally to visit a network of offices and customers.
Says Aversa, “We do not typically schedule tours here, as there is a lot of product development going on that is confidential. We do give tours of our multiple manufacturing facilities however, although they are located mostly in the Far East.”
She adds, “We just recently upgraded our global headquarters last July. The move has allowed us to continue to conduct business in a bigger facility and prepare us for any plans we might have to grow in the future. The expanded facility has brought us to a focused location as we expand our line of spikes and accessories. Our 140 Locke Drive location offers us a bigger showroom for customer meetings and sales presentations and to showcase our full line of products. In addition, it gives us the ability to add to our increasing customization business and increases our warehouse space.”