Louisville Slugger, Louisville, Ky., the official bat of Major League Baseball (MLB) and Wilson Sporting Goods, the official glove of MLB announced March 23 that Wilson acquired the brand, sales and innovation rights to Louisville Slugger from its parent company, Hillerich &Bradsby (H&B). The deal is pending H&B shareholder approval.
H&B will now become Wilson’s exclusive partner for wooden bats, and will continue to manufacture products at H&B’s downtown Louisville factory.
“The decision to sell the Louisville Slugger brand was a difficult and serious one to make,” says John A. Hillerich IV, CEO of H&B. “The Hillerich family, and those closest to the brand, firmly believes that a new business model is necessary to realize the enormous potential of this brand in the future. We recognized from our first conversation with Wilson that they would be a great partner and steward of the brand our family created and so many have nurtured for 131 years.”
Wilson intends to grow the Louisville Slugger brand abroad and domestically, using its marketing infrastructure and global resources of parent company Amer Sports Corp.’s R&D, sourcing and distribution departments.
“We are excited to welcome Louisville Slugger into the Wilson family. Growing our baseball and softball business globally is a key business strategy, and H&B has created one of the most recognizable baseball brands in the world,” says Mike Dowse, President of Wilson Sporting Goods, Co. “We believe Louisville Slugger will enrich our company significantly, enhance our baseball and softball product offering at all levels of the game, and ensure we are delivering only the best performance products to athletes of every age.”
For more information, visit Wilson.com. — J.B.