About the Wilson
WILSON Sporting Goods is an American Sports Equipment Manufacturer Company.
In 1913, the Wilson Sporting Goods Company was founded in Illinois, Chicago, United States, by Mr. Thomas E. Wilson.
Mr. Thomas E. Wilson was born in July 22, 1868 Ontario, Canada, London and died in August 4, 1958, Lake Forest , Illinios, United States.
Originally known as the Ashland Manufacturing Company, Wilson Sporting Goods was created as a subsidiary of the “Swarzchild and Sulzberger” meat packing concern. The company moved into the sporting goods trade by manufacturing gut strings.
It started out making tennis racket strings, violin strings, and surgical sutures, but soon expanded into baseball shoes and tennis racquets.
Mr. Thomas E. Wilson, former president of meatpacker Morris & Company, was appointed president by the controlling banks and renamed the company “Thomas E. Wilson Company”. The company acquired the Hetzinger Knitting Mills to produce athletic uniforms and a caddie bag company which produced golf balls but soon expanded into footballs and basketballs.
The company left to concentrate on the beef-packing business, changing the Sulzberger company to Wilson & Co. (which would ultimately become Iowa Beef Packers and then be taken over by Tyson Foods).
In 1922, it introduced the Ray Schalk catcher’s mitt which later became the standard. It worked with Knute Rockne to introduce the double-lined leather football and first valve football and the first waist-line football pants with pads.
In 1925, it was renamed “Wilson-Western Sporting Goods” following a distribution agreement with “Western Sporting Goods”.
It became the official supplier of footballs for the National Football League (NFL).
After Knute Rockne’s death, the company focused on golf, introducing the R-90, a sand wedge golf club inspired by Gene Sarazen’s victory in the 1932 British Open.
Wilson introduced the first official basketball for the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Brand began manufacturing golf clubs and balls.
Wilson became the official game ball supplier of the newly-formed Basketball Association of America (BAA; the forerunner league of what would eventually become today’s NBA) in 1946, this partnership would last 37 years.
After the World War II, Brand focused on tennis and signed Jack Kramer, who developed its line of Jack Kramer signed tennis rackets. L. B. Icely died in 1950, but the company continued to expand.
In 1955, it acquired Ohio-Kentucky Manufacturing for making footballs.
In 1964, Wilson acquired “Wonder Products Company”, which made toys and custom-molded items. The company transformed the custom-mold section to make protective equipment for American Football and Baseball, such as face masks for football helmets and leg guards for baseball catchers.
The company was acquired by Ling-Temco-Vought. Only three years later, PepsiCo became new Wilson’s owner. In those days, the company manufactured and commercialized the official balls for both, NBA and NFL, and provided most of the uniforms of teams in Major League Baseball (MLB) and the United States Summer Olympics teams.
The company was acquired by Westray Capital Corporation through subsidiary WSGC Holdings.
WSGC merged with Bogey Acquisitions Company, which is affiliated with the Finnish group Amer Sports.
The company continued to innovate with new technologies such as the Pro Staff tennis racket and the Profile golf club.
The brand expanded its presence in the global market, with a focus on Asia and Europe. The company also introduced new products such as the Wilson nCode tennis racket and the Deep Red golf club.
It was announced that Wilson became the NBA and WNBA official ball supplier, starting with the 2021 season. Wilson will return as NBA ball maker, replacing Spalding, after the latter company’s 37-year partnership with the league.
Amer Sports was acquired by a Chinese consortium led by Anta Sports, making Wilson a subsidiary of Anta Sports.
After World War II, the company focused on tennis and signed Jack Kramer, who developed its line of Jack Kramer signed tennis rackets.
Wilson introduced the first aluminum-framed tennis racket.
Wilson continued to expand its product line, introducing new technologies such as the Double Core tennis ball and the Hammer tennis racket.
In 1979, Wilson tennis balls were first used in the US Open, and still are used to this day.
Wilson continued to innovate with new technologies such as the Pro Staff tennis racquet.
Brand expanded its presence in the global market, with a focus on Asia and Europe. The company also introduced new products such as the Wilson nCode tennis racquet.
The Company unveiled their latest line of rackets, codenamed 20x, which they would later rename BLX.
Aside from tennis rackets, the Wilson sporting goods company also makes tennis balls starting in, the French Open major championships.