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Official supplier of football for the NFL
Since 1941, Wilson Sporting Goods has made every football caught in the NFL.
The partnership between Wilson Sporting Goods and the National Football League is believed to be one of the longest in history. The NFL’s George Halas and Tim Mara were impressed with Wilson’s craftsmanship, leather caliber, lock-stitch seams, and overall functionality, and embraced them as the official football in 1941. “The Duke,” since this official chunk is called, was produced in Wilson’s factories ever since.
In 1955, Wilson bought an existing athletic goods factory in Ada, Ohio–a city of about 6,000 individuals. According to their website, Wilson instantly streamlined its facilities to manufacture footballs alone, allowing it to concentrate and innovate in making the”highest quality footballs ever produced.”
Today, about 130 Wilson workers make about 4,000 chunks every day or 700,000 annually. Employees typical about 20 years at the Ada factory, and appear to take genuine pride in the quality of their craftsmanship. Nothing is automatic, as every measure from cutting the cowhide to linking tight laces is accomplished by hand. Wilson Sporting Goods supplies at 24,960 official game footballs each season — 780 per group — for sports usage.
Where is the official NFL game ball made?
The Super Bowl Is a Showcase for Ada, Ohio, the Town Where Footballs Are Born. Amid the corn and soybean areas of west-central Ohio, the Wilson mill cranks out thousands of chunks a year–and come Super Bowl season, the folks of Ada take particular pride in their job.
Since the plant manager for the Wilson Sporting Goods factory, Riegle is inclined to charge the chunk, not the baller, for plays that are outstanding. After all, that is his baby out there. Every football made by Wilson, the official supplier for the NFL and NCAA, is made at the plant runs in this little city in northwest Ohio.
Football-making is a public company. Riegle likes to mention it isn’t actually a job, it’s a craft. Some two dozen people have a hand in every ball that is manufactured in Ada, and 3,000 balls are completed every day over a multistep procedure that takes three to five days from start to finish for each ball. Footballs are the sole product created at the Ada plant, and the procedure has not changed much since 1941 when Wilson became the NFL’s official maker. You’ve got the cutters, the stampers, the sewers, the turners, the lacers, the molders, both the inspectors and the packagers. Each class has a technical job in the cycle.
“The Duke”: Where did the origin of the title come from?
The football used for NFL games is affectionally known as”The Duke”, but how did the current match ball come to get its own name and visual appeal?
Tim Mara, the founder of the New York Giants, named his son Wellington after the Duke of Wellington. Following Tim Mara was responsible for the contract that created Wilson the official supplier of the NFL game ball, George Halas urged the company to reward Mara by naming the chunk following his son.
Hence the title”The Duke” has been granted to each of the footballs used in NFL games between 1941 and 1970. Following the merger with the AFL, Wilson removed”The Duke” in their NFL game ball. The ball remained”nameless” until Wellington Mara passed away in 2005.
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