RENTON, WASHINGTON (February 27, 2020) – Baden Sports announced CEO & President Michael J. Schindler passed away on February 19 from an apparent heart attack during a vacation in Hawaii. Schindler was 70.
Schindler was the son of Baden founder E.C. Schindler. Michael Schindler spent his entire career of more than 40 years at Baden and helped turn the family-owned startup into one of the major athletic-ball brands in the sporting goods industry.
“We are heartbroken by the unexpected passing of our beloved husband, father, and brother,” the Schindler family said in a statement. “Michael devoted his life to his family and to Baden. We will miss him more than words can express but are resolved to carry on his legacy in a way that honors all who knew him. We find comfort in knowing he died in a place he loved so much, with the love of his life, Patti, by his side. Thank you for your prayers and support. We kindly ask that you respect our family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Schindler joined Baden in 1978 and spent more than two decades in sales and marketing. His efforts helped launch Baden to national prominence in 1984 when the company was first to develop a new standard basketball for the women’s game. He succeeded his father as CEO in 2002.
A lifelong advocate for athletes, Schindler believed passionately that quality sports equipment could improve the game for the player. Such focus led to many notable Baden product innovations under his leadership, including the Perfection® Elite basketball, the All-Weather™ baseball, the Stealth Soft-Valve System™, the Big Leaguer™ seamed plastic training ball, and most recently, the Axe® Bat.
Schindler also formed close relationships with some of the premier coaches, including basketball legends Pat Summitt of Tennessee and Bob Knight of Indiana, both of whom became Baden endorsers, and organizations such as the Harlem Globetrotters.