Designing Speedo LZR Racer: Speedo's Innovative and Controversial Line of High-end Swimsuits

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER075
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2000-2008
Organization : Speedo International Limited
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : UK; Global
Industry : Elite Swimwear

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

The improved conditions of the 19th century encouraged people to indulge in recreational activities. Seaside activities such as swimming, surf bathing, and diving became popular the world over. In 1910, a 22-year-old Scottish youth named Alexander MacRae (MacRae) immigrated to New South Wales, Australia...

Designing the Speedo LZR Racer

In the 2000s, competition in the global swimsuit market prompted swimwear manufacturers to be innovative in their designs. To stay ahead of its competitors, Speedo used the latest technology in developing its swimsuits...

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies


Water Flume Testing
To assess passive drag on various suits at different velocities and to select the suit with the lowest possible drag, the swimsuits were subjected to water flume tests.

Fabrics were tested by conducting water flume tests on mannequins and swimmers at the University of Otago in New Zealand. The tests were carried out by Dave Pease, a sports scientist. In a water flume, the water moved while swimmers remained streamlined...

The Launch

After three years of extensive research and development, the LZR Racer was launched on February 12, 2008. The suit made its debut at the 2008 Missouri Grand Prix Swim Meet held between February 15 and 18, 2008, in Columbia...

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