"Seventy percent of our work is new development; ten percent is maintenance; twenty percent is meetings. All user groups decide what we work on."
– Bard White, Director of MIS

Manufacturer of sporting goods Medium-sized shop


Spalding Sports is the world's largest manufacturer of golf balls. They also produce basketballs for the National Basketball Association (NBA) and tennis rackets and sports clothing sold in stores. Spalding Sports was founded in 1880 and has 2,000 employees. Chicopee, Massachusetts is corporate headquarters. Spalding's products are distributed through sporting goods stores, golf courses, and large retail outlets, such as Sears and K-Mart. Spalding Sports is privately-held.



Spalding Sports has HP980s, the top of the line HP 3000s. Programming is in COBOL. Additional software used includes the IMAGE database management system, the COGNOS fourth-generation language, OMNIDEX, a front-end to IMAGE and QUIZ.

Spalding Sports has 50 computer professionals working in the finance group, Research and Development engineering group, sales and marketing, EDI, and the manufacturing group. Job titles include Junior Programmer, Programmer, Senior Programmer, Analyst Programmer, Systems Analyst, Senior Systems Analyst, and Project Leader. There is a dual technical/management career path. Systems programmers may stay in technical services. Spalding is in the middle of evaluating application packages for a new order-entry system.


Computer professionals work at corporate headquarters in Chicopee in cubicles or private offices. All have PCs on their desks and there are laptops available to each group of 4 to 5 people to take home. Smoking is not allowed in the MIS department. There are 1 or 2 days of travel each month, generally to classes on Hewlett-Packard hardware or software and trade shows. There is some overtime, but flexible hours are available. Spalding Sports is proud of its product and customer service. They believe they offer computer professionals an environment with very low turnover rates because it is a good company to work for.

Spalding Sports observes 12 holidays. They offer 2 weeks of vacation to start and 3 weeks after 5 years. The company offers medical, life, dental, and disability insurance, tuition reimbursement, retirement and 401(k) plans, and health club membership. There have been no layoffs of MIS personnel for the last 14 years.


Spalding looks for candidates with 2 to 4 years of experience with online systems, not necessarily with Hewlett-Packard. It is especially important that they work well in a group and with users. Education is not a significant factor. The average computer professional at Spalding has 6 to 7 years of experience. The majority have a Bachelor's degree, but this ranges from no degree to several Ph.D. degrees.

Spalding Sports does hire entry-level computer professionals. A candidate must be able to grasp things quickly, to work by themselves, and to work well on a team. Both entry-level professionals fresh from a trade school and those with a doctorate in philosophy have proved successful at Spalding Sports. New employees are found primarily through employee referrals and recommendations. Spalding Sports hired 7 computer professionals last year.


Phone calls are preferred.

Mr. Ed Lapinski, Director of Human Resources

(413) 536-1200

Spalding Sports, Inc.

425 Meadow Street

Chicopee, Massachusetts 01021

Copyright 1991. Vandamere Press. Covin’s New England Computer Job Guide