American football


Established 1914

Founded in 1913 as the Ashland Manufacturing Company, the Wilson Sporting Goods Company is an American sports equipment manufacturer. Using animal by-products, the company started out making tennis racket strings, violin strings and surgical sutures. When it expanded into baseball shoes and tennis racquets in 1931, it renamed itself Wilson Sporting Goods Company.

In 1941 Wilson introduced a football made out of the best leather with hand-sewn ends, lock-stitch seams and triple lining. They named it ‘the Duke’, after the late New York Giants owner, Wellington Mara, and it was instantly adopted as the official ball of the NFL. Wilson has been the official ball for nearly 70 years and this is arguably one of the longest partnerships in sports history.

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Photo credits
© Wilson Sporting Goods Co., Chicago, US

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