In a league of its own, Rawlings Sporting Goods is known for its ties to Major League Baseball (MLB); the company is the MLB's exclusive supplier of baseball helmets. Rawlings makes and distributes a variety of equipment and protective gear for playing baseball, football, and basketball. Its equipment is also used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), as well as amateur organizations, and in interscholastic athletics. Rawlings sells through mass merchandisers, sporting goods retailers, and its namesake website. It licenses its brand for an array of merchandise, including apparel, toys, and shoes. Rawlings is a subsidiary of consumer products maker Jarden, which acquired the business in 2007.
Rawlings' operations are part of Jarden's Outdoor Solutions business segment. The segment combines trademark equipment and apparel for various outdoor and outdoor-related activities, fishing, as well as most team and individual sports. Products are made in China, Europe, Latin and North America. Geographically, the Outdoor Solutions segment caters to customers in the US and Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim.
In fiscal 2011 (ends December) the Outdoor Solutions business segment accounted for more than 40% of Jarden's sales and operating earnings. Segment earnings jumped 20% atop a 10% increase in sales over the prior year, marking a second-consecutive year-over-year rise. Results were fueled by higher sales of products related to outdoor activities versus sports equipment.
Under Jarden, Rawlings' growth strategy counts on new products and product extensions to strengthen its premium position among retailers and consumers. In 2011 Rawlings launched two significant product lines. Rawlings 5150 BBCOR bats are designed to meet new regulations at the collegiate and high school levels. Providing improved impact protection, the Rawlings NRG Quantum football helmets were also introduced. Starting in 2010, all batters in the minor leagues' nearly 200 teams were required to wear Rawlings S100 helmets, which are bulkier, but offer protection from pitches up to 100-mph. The S100 helmets were also given to players in the MLB to try (or use) in games. Prior to its release in 2009, the S100 had undergone four years of development
A division of Rawlings, Jaden Sports Licensing (JSL) holds numerous licenses aimed to further bolster brand exposure and equity in the sporting goods market. JSL has agreements with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and more than 300 collegiate athletics departments. Beyond organized sports, Rawlings lends its name to Marvel Entertainment and Mattel to market sports balls and other commemorative and collectible products. – less