Adidas and Nike have ruled the modern sneaker market for a long time.
However, New Balance is a lesser-known company that has produced quality sneakers since 1906. Nevertheless, it became a household name, and it continues to gain more popularity among runners and lacrosse players.
This successful company made Jim S. Davis one of the richest people in the world. His net worth exceeds $6.9 billion, making him the richest person in Newton, Massachusetts.
Who is Jim S. Davis?
Jim S. Davis is an American billionaire entrepreneur, the owner, and chairman of New Balance. New Balance is a closely held athletic shoemaker with more than $3.3 billion annual income.
Jim S. Davis was born in 1943, the son of Greek immigrants. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry.
After graduation, he worked at different companies before acquiring New Balance in 1972. At that time, New Balance had six employees, and its annual sales were less than $1 million. However, by 2000, New Balance's annual sales reached $1 billion.
Today, the Boston-based company manufactures more than 4 million pairs of shoes in the United States every year and a wide range of men's and women's sportswear.
Davis's family still owns 95% of New Balance.
Davis is married and has two children. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts. According to Forbes, the family still owns an estimated 95% of the company, which is private.
Davis is a longtime Republican supporter.
According to OpenSecrets, Davis has donated more than $7.5 million to Republicans, typically in congressional and presidential races, over the last three decades. For example, in 2012, he gave Mitt Romney-supporting super PAC $500,000, and in 2016, he donated $396,500 to the Trump Victory fund.
The history behind the brand
In 1906, William J. Riley, an English immigrant, wanted to create special shoes to help workers who work on their feet all day, for example, police officers. So Riley used a chicken's foot to design footwear to help people stand longer without pain.
In 1927, Riley hired Arthur Hall as a salesman, and in 1934, Hall became a business partner. Four years later, the company made its running show. Finally, in 1956, Hall sold the business to his daughter Eleanor and her husband, Paul Kidd.
In 1972 New Balance once again was sold to Jim S. Davis. Davis focused on producing high-end shoes such as New Balance 320, New Balance 990, etc. By 2000, the company's revenue exceeded $1 billion, and Davis became one of the wealthiest people in the United States.
Have you owned a New Balance shoes? What do you think of it?