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The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King Argumentative

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1. At the business level, what core competence was Disney founded on? What’s the value proposition that Disney offers? How does this translate into their theme park business? Other businesses? Is Walt’s vision still evident?

Disney was founded on Walt’s ability to create and innovate new characters. Disney offered an experience that was aimed at the family instead of just children. This translated to their theme park because Walt wanted to create a theme park that the whole family could enjoy (including the dad) and have the experience be innovative and exciting. Disney continues to operate in a way that appeals to more than just the child audience in all their business ventures. Walt’s vision is still evident throughout Disney and will continue to stand as a guide as they continue to pave their future.

2. What was Disney’s corporate level strategy in 1984 (be clear and concise)? How were the various business segments related at that time? Unrelated? How did Disney create corporate level synergies?

Disney was going after a related diversification strategy in 1984. Disney was investing in new businesses like retail, publishing, music and international expansion. Each segment related was used a way to expand their characters and products in different ways. Disney was able to create plans and promotional events that utilized each segment of the business to appeal and reach more people.

3. What did Michael Eisner do to rejuvenate Disney in his first five years? Why?

Michael Eisner maintained Disney’s core values of quality, creativity, entrepreneurship, and teamwork and expanded the business. He pushed the business to take new approaches and fostered an environment where financial and creative segments had to work together in unison to achieve goals. Eisner saw the potential in each business segment and recognized that Disney need to try new things and expand to continue to earn profits.

4. What mechanisms / levers did Eisner use to grow Disney? Why these?

Disney focused on using strategic alliances and acquisitions to grow. This helped Disney maintain it’s values and control of the company while continuing to diversify and expand into new markets. This also allowed them to vertical integrate and create synergies between acquisitions.

5. What is Disney’s corporate level strategy in 2000 (be clear and concise)? How are the various business segments related? Unrelated? How did Disney create corporate level value/synergies?

Disney was still pushing a related diversification in 2000. They were continuing to expand into markets like the Internet and wanted to turn their theme parks into destinations. They continued to invest in things that could create synergy and link their business segments. Disney created synergy through their company by have a “synergy boot camp”. This allowed executives and managers to understand the functions and jobs of people lower than them. This gave the executives an understanding and connection with employees that they normally would not have interacted with, which facilitated future interactions.

6. How does ESPN fit into their corporate level strategy? How are value/synergies being created?

ESPN fit into their corporate level strategy because it diversified Disney’s scope while still relating to the television business and begin a show that appealed to the whole family. Utilizing Disney’s expertise in theme parks and entertainment ESPN expanded into a sports restaurant and interactive sports arcade creating more value for ESPN.

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