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New Factory Part of Wilson’s Renewal of NFL Partnership

Featured, Corporate • June 27, 2024

NEW YORK, NEW YORK and CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 27, 2024) – Wilson Sporting Goods and the National Football League (NFL) announced the renewal of their partnership, naming Wilson again as the official football of the league. Since 1941, every point in the NFL has been scored with a Wilson® Football, making this one of the longest partnerships in sports history. As part of the multi-year extension, Wilson will unveil a brand-new football factory in Ohio, as well as become the official football of NFL Flag programs internationally, continuing the brands’ joint mission of growing the game across various demographics and countries.

Wilson unveils a brand-new football factory in Ohio.
Photo: Wilson unveils a brand-new football factory in Ohio.

“Wilson and the NFL are one of the most iconic relationships in sports, dating back over 80 years,” said Kevin Murphy, global general manager of Team Sports at Wilson. “Since then, Wilson has been part of every snap, pass and touchdown in NFL history. We are thrilled to build upon this partnership as we continue to work with the league on growing the game globally and open opportunities for everyone to be part of the sport.”

Every Wilson NFL game Football, dubbed “The Duke,” has been handcrafted at Wilson’s facilities in Ada, Ohio through a 20-step process. Wilson’s football factory is the world’s oldest factory dedicated to producing only game-ready genuine leather footballs. Wilson debuted its new and improved football factory, nearly doubling the capacity of the previous plant. This new space gives the true craftsmen and craftswomen in Ada – who make each football by hand – more space to continue their game-changing work, as well as the opportunity for Wilson to continue innovating, designing and offering the top product in sport.

Wilson unveils a brand-new football factory in Ohio.
Photo: Wilson unveils a brand-new football factory in Ohio.

“The NFL’s time-honored partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods Co. is integral to our past, present and future, with ‘The Duke’ at the forefront of every NFL game played since 1941,” said Ryan Samuelson, vice president of consumer products at the NFL. “Renewing and expanding our relationship with a partner so ingrained into our culture is paramount for the league to continue to grow the game and the opening of the new football factory is a testament to Wilson’s commitment to NFL football.”

The factory generates best-in-class products from youth to pro, making game footballs for the NFL season, including every Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, as well as youth, high school and college play. The new space includes a football museum that celebrates iconic Wilson and NFL moments, as well as a pop-up shop and manufacturing tours. Tours can be reserved online starting in July with a percentage of ticket proceeds being donated to youth sport groups in the greater area. The upgraded facility is also home to product testing, ball customization and Wilson’s game-ready product break-in process.

To celebrate this milestone partnership extension and factory expansion, Wilson and the NFL will bring together greats across the global football ecosystem at their new factory, including Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford, former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer, NFL Flag Football Ambassador and Mexico National Flag Football Player Diana Flores, Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones and former Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. The grand opening celebrations will conclude with a youth flag football camp hosted by Smith, Ginn, Palmer and Flores.

Wilson will also become the official football of NFL Flag programming around the world. NFL Flag, the official flag football program of the NFL, brings the non-contact version of football to young athletes and is across 12 markets globally. Fast, highly accessible and inclusive for all, flag football is spearheading extraordinary growth in participation — played by over 20 million people across 100 countries (USE NSGA DATA) with women and girls driving some of the sport’s fastest growth. In collaboration with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the NFL is investing in the development and growth of flag football at grassroots and elite levels across the world.

Wilson is a longtime member of the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).


The Duke Flag Football NFL Wilson Football Sporting Goods