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    It was announced Monday that the Louisville Slugger brand has been sold to Wilson Sporting Goods. In exchange for $70 million, Wilson will take ownership of all sales, branding rights, research and development. CEO John A. Hillerich IV (whose great grandfather made the first Louisville Slugger over a century ago) stated in a press release that the agreement was reached in part, because as a small company they lack the resources to be competitive.

    So what does the sale mean for Louisvillians?

    Most importantly, Louisville Slugger will keep possession of the downtown Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.

    Essentially, Wilson buys everything that has the Louisville Slugger name on it and Louisville Slugger becomes a vendor for Wilson’s headquarters in Finland.

    Wilson plans to scale up production, but the two will remain stand-alone brands.

    Though the factory on West Main Street will continue to make wooden bats under the Louisville Slugger name, Wilson will take over Louisville Slugger’s aluminum bats (which are manufactured in China).

    Cash from the sale will be put towards renovations including new exhibits at the museum.

    However, the deal means that a fifth of the workforce will be cut; mostly white-collar jobs that Wilson will absorb.

    With this purchase, Wilson is now the largest baseball manufacturer in the world. Having owned what is arguably the most famous brand in all of baseball, the sale marks the end of an era for Hillerich and Bradsby, as they were one of the last remaining independently family run companies in Louisville.   

    Photos courtesy of Alida Antonia's Twitter page and Flickr. 

    Ashley Hoff's picture

    About Ashley Hoff

    Lover of dogs, coffee, sports, and funnies. Often found with burrito in mouth and book in hand.

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