Top 10 Sporting Goods Brands Of All Time

Over the years, sports companies have been providing the highest quality of apparel, shoes, equipment etc to athletes and sports fans. With the increase of eCommerce, the popularity of the top sports companies in the world has increased many fold. Not only sports players but even young demographics prefer to wear sportswear produced by these companies. Here is the list of the top 10 sports brands in the world 2019.

1. Nike

Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012).

As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. In 2014 the brand alone was valued at $19 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. As of 2017, the Nike brand is valued at $29.6 billion. Nike ranked No. 89 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

The company was founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, Nike CR7, and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) from 1995 to 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro. 

In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of “Just Do It” and the Swoosh logo.

2. Adidas

Adidas AG is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after Nike. It is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade golf company (including Ashworth), 8.33% of the German football club Bayern Munich, and Runtastic, an Austrian fitness technology company. Adidas’ revenue for 2018 was listed at €21.915 billion.

The company was started by Adolf Dassler in his mother’s house; he was joined by his elder brother Rudolf in 1924 under the name Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Dassler assisted in the development of spiked running shoes (spikes) for multiple athletic events. To enhance the quality of spiked athletic footwear, he transitioned from a previous model of heavy metal spikes to utilizing canvas and rubber. Dassler persuaded U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use his handmade spikes at the 1936 Summer Olympics. In 1949, following a breakdown in the relationship between the brothers, Adolf created Adidas, and Rudolf established Puma, which became Adidas’ business rival.

Adidas’ logo is three stripes, which is used on the company’s clothing and shoe designs as a marketing aid. The branding, which Adidas bought in 1952 from Finnish sports company Karhu Sports, became so successful that Dassler described Adidas as “The three stripes company”.

3. Puma

Puma SE, branded as Puma, is a German multinational company that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories, which is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. Puma is the third largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. The company was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler. In 1924, Rudolf and his brother Adolf Dassler had jointly formed the company Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The relationship between the two brothers deteriorated until the two agreed to split in 1948, forming two separate entities, Adidas and Puma. Both companies are currently based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Puma has been a public company since 1986, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. French luxury group Kering (formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute or PPR) holds 16%, Kering’s largest shareholder Artemis SA owns 29% of the share capital. Since 1 July 2013, the company has been led by former football professional Bjørn Gulden (CEO).

As of 2017, Puma SE employs more than 13,000 people worldwide and distributes its products in more than 120 countries.

Following the split from his brother, Rudolf Dassler originally registered the new-established company as Ruda, but later changed the name to Puma. Puma’s earliest logo consisted of a square and beast jumping through a D, which was registered, along with the company’s name, in 1948. Puma’s shoe and clothing designs feature the Puma logo and the distinctive “Formstrip” which was introduced in 1958.

4. Reebok

Reebok International Limited is an American (formerly English) footwear and apparel company, and a subsidiary of German sporting goods giant Adidas since 2005. Reebok produces and distributes fitness, running and CrossFit sportswear including clothing and footwear. It is the official footwear and apparel sponsor for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), CrossFit, and Spartan Race.

In 1958, Reebok was established as a companion company to J.W. Foster and Sons, founded in 1895 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. From 1958 until 1986, all Reebok apparel featured the Union Jack flag., to signify the company’s English origins. The Union Flag is featured on Reebok’s “Classic” line of apparel.

The company’s global headquarters are located in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., with regional offices in Amsterdam, Montreal, Hong Kong, and Mexico City.

In November 2016, Reebok announced they would be moving their headquarters from the Boston suburb of Canton to the innovation and design building in the seaport district of South Boston. The reasons for the move, according to the company, were to be located in an urban environment that is more desirable to millennial workers and to “clarify the roles” of United States offices. The move was completed in autumn of 2018.

5. New Balance

New Balance Athletics, Inc. (NB), best known as simply New Balance, is an American multinational corporation based in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The company was founded in 1906 as the “New Balance Arch Support Company” and is one of the world’s major sports footwear and apparel manufacturers.

New Balance maintains a manufacturing presence in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom for the European market, where they produce some of their most popular models such as the 990 model—in contrast to its competitors, which often manufacture exclusively outside the United States and Europe. As a result, New Balance shoes tend to be more expensive than those of many other manufacturers.

To offset this pricing difference, New Balance claims to differentiate their products with technical features, such as blended gel inserts, heel counters and a greater selection of sizes, particularly for very narrow or very wide widths. The company has made total profits of approximately $69 billion since 1992.

6. Under Armour

Under Armour, Inc. is an American company that manufactures footwear, sports, and casual apparel. Under Armour’s global headquarters are located in Baltimore, Maryland with additional offices located in Amsterdam (European headquarters), Austin, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Munich, New York City, Panama City (international headquarters), Paris, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, São Paulo, Santiago, Seoul, Shanghai (Greater Chinese headquarters), and Toronto.

Products manufactured by Under Armour include athletic shoes, t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, pants, leggings, shorts and accessories such as bags, gloves, caps and protective gear. Under Armour also produces American football, basketball and soccer uniforms, among other sports.

7. New Era

The New Era Cap Company is an American headwear company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. It was founded in 1920. New Era has over 500 different licenses in its portfolio. Since 1993 they have been the exclusive baseball cap supplier for Major League Baseball (MLB).

In 1920, Ehrhardt Koch borrowed $1,000 from his sister, Rose, and $1,000 from his co-worker Joe and started his own cap company, the “E. Hoch Cap Company.” Production started on the third floor of 1830 Genesee Street in Buffalo, New York. The company started with 14 employees, including Ehrhardt’s sister Rose, Ehrhardt’s son, Harold, and Rose’s son Wally Domas. In 1920, the company produced 60,000 caps.

In 1934, New Era began producing caps for the Cleveland Indians, which would be their first Major League Baseball (MLB) contract. In 1954, the company’s fitted pro cap was modernized, redesigned and named the 59Fifty, aka the “Brooklyn Style” cap, by Harold Koch, who introduced many design improvements and innovations while head of New Era. By 1965, New Era was supplying caps to about 10 of the 20 MLB teams. In 1993, New Era was granted the first exclusive license with MLB to produce the on-field baseball caps for all of its (then 28, now 30) teams.

In 2001, Chris Koch was named CEO. In the 2010s, while New Era had long been associated with baseball, the company focused on delving into football and other sports leagues. In 2012, it acquired full exclusive sideline rights for the National Football League (NFL). In 2013, New Era signed with Australian cricket’s Big Bash League as their official cap provider. New Era signed an additional deal in 2015 with Manchester United. In 2017, New Era signed exclusive rights for NBA on-court product. This made New Era the first headwear company to have exclusive rights for MLB, the NFL, and the NBA simultaneously.

It was announced on August 13, 2016, that New Era and the Buffalo Bills reached an agreement for naming rights for Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills and New Era officially announced the stadium’s new name of New Era Field five days later, on August 18, 2016. After the Bills released CEO Russ Brandon in May 2018, New Era hired Brandon in an executive position. A day later, New Era denied the hiring had taken place. The Athletic, which made the initial claim, continues to insist the hiring happened and that Brandon had been quietly fired after the story broke.

On September 12, 2018, it was announced that New Era would be the official outfitter for the Canadian Football League starting in the 2019 season. The company has been a licensee of the CFL for headwear and apparel since January 2011 and it will be the first time that the company provides football uniforms and sideline apparel.

8. Slazenger

Slazenger is an English sporting goods manufacturer which concentrates on racket sports including tennis, golf, cricket and hockey. Founded in 1881, it is one of the oldest surviving sporting brand names. It has the longest sporting sponsorship in world history, thanks to its association with the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, providing balls for the tournament since 1902.

Slazenger was founded in 1881 by a pair of brothers, Ralph and Albert Slazenger. In 1881 Ralph Slazenger left his native Manchester, and opened a shop on London’s Cannon Street selling rubber sporting goods. Slazenger quickly became a leading manufacturer of sporting equipment for golf and tennis. Four years after the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club held its first ever championships, Slazengers produced ‘The New Game of Lawn Tennis’ complete in a box.

Their plant in Barnsley manufactured tennis balls and exported them round the world. The plant closed in 2002, and production is now based in the Philippines.

In 1902, Slazengers were appointed as the official tennis ball supplier to The Championships, Wimbledon, and it remains one of the longest unbroken sporting sponsorships in history.

In 1910, a public company was incorporated to acquire Slazenger and Sons, “manufacturers of sports equipment, india rubber, gutta percha and waterproof goods, leather merchants and dealers”, which floated on the stock market. In 1931, Slazengers acquired H. Gradidge and Sons.

9. Asics

Asics is a Japanese multinational corporation which produces footwear and sports equipment designed for a wide range of sports, generally in the upper price range. The name is an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano, which translates as “Healthy soul in a healthy body”. In recent years their running shoes have often been ranked among the top performance footwear in the market.

ASICS Ltd. began as Onitsuka Co., Ltd on September 1, 1949. Its founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, began manufacturing basketball shoes in his home town of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Soon after the range of sports activities widened to a variety of Olympic styles used throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s by athletes worldwide. Onitsuka became particularly renowned for the Mexico 66 design, in which the distinctive crossed stripes, now synonymous with the company brand, were featured for the first time. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO and JELENK to form ASICS Corporation. Despite the name change, a vintage range of Asics shoes are still produced and sold internationally under the Onitsuka Tiger label.

In its 2006 fiscal year, Asics generated 171 billion yen in net sales and 13 billion yen in net income. Sixty-six percent of the company’s income came from the sale of sports shoes, 24% from sportswear, and 10% from sports equipment. Forty-nine percent of the company’s sales were in Japan, 28% in North America, and 19% in Europe.

On July 12, 2010, Asics bought the Swedish outdoor brand Haglöfs, for SEK1,000,000,000 ($128.7 million).

On October 4, 2011, it was announced that Asics would be the new official kit manufacturer for the Australian Cricket Team, replacing German manufacturer Adidas.

10. Canterbury

Canterbury of New Zealand (commonly referred to as just Canterbury) is a UK-based sports clothing company that focuses mainly on rugby football. The company originated from the Canterbury Region in New Zealand.

Canterbury of New Zealand was established in 1904, producing garments in Canterbury, New Zealand. The company made uniforms for the local armies during the First World War, before producing kit for the All Blacks. The brand’s tagline is “Committed To The Game”. Its logo is the silhouettes of three Kiwi birds creating the letters CCC; the initials of the Canterbury Clothing Company and representing the three people who founded the company.

The global headquarters are located in Stockport, UK; with head office in Avondale, Auckland, NZ; and satellite offices in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia.

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