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Louisville Ice Hockey Pants, Louisville Hockey Pants, Louisville Hockey Pants Equipment

History of Hillerich & Bradsby Company, Inc. and Louisville Hockey Pants

Hillerich & Bradsby Company, Inc. is a privately owned sporting goods manufacturer best known as the producer of the Louisville Slugger baseball bats. In addition to its traditional wooden Sluggers, which are still made in Louisville, the company manufactures more than 100 models of aluminum bats for baseball and softball in an Ontario, California manufacturing plant, and a line of baseball and softball gloves. Hillerich & Bradsby also manufactures and markets a line of golf equipment--including clubs, bags, and gloves--under the trade name "PowerBilt," and a line of hockey equipment under the trade name TPS Louisville Hockey. The company also owns some 5,000 acres of forest in Pennsylvania and New York, from which it harvests the wood to produce its bats.

In 1966, Hillerich & Bradsby expanded into yet another sport when they acquired Wally Enterprises in Ontario, Canada. Wally Enterprises produced croquet sets, pool tables, and--of more importance--hockey sticks. H & B changed the brand on the hockey equipment to Louisville TPS (Tournament Players Series) and began selling its sticks through sporting goods distributors in the United States and Canada.

Even so, the company's delay in getting serious about aluminum left it playing catch-up to its competitors. Easton Sports, of California, had leapt into the aluminum bat market early on, using the same technology it used to make metal arrows; by the early 1980s, it held the lion's share of the market. Between 1980 and 1985, H & B's sales stagnated, and its profits plunged by approximately 90 percent. Jack Hillerich knew he had to move fast to turn the business around.

By the start of the 1990s, H & B's aluminum bat business had greatly picked up and was generating approximately 30 percent of the company's revenue. In fact, its aluminum bat facility in Santa Fe Springs, California was having trouble making enough product to meet the market demand. So in August of 1991, H & B moved its aluminum division into a larger facility in nearby Ontario, California. It also increased the staffing at that facility by some 35 percent. That same year, H & B supplemented its aluminum production capabilities by opening a smaller bat and hockey stick manufacturing facility in Florence, Kentucky.

The Future of H & B and Louisville Hockey Pants

Aside from the leadership change, it appeared to be business as usual at Hillerich & Bradsby. Baseball and softball equipment sales accounted for around 60 percent of the company's revenues, with the fastest-growing segment of that market being women's fast-pitch softball. Hockey equipment sales generated some 20 percent of the total revenue, and the company was optimistic about the future of that division and it's Louisville ice hockey pants sales. See the Louisville TPS P104 Ice Hockey Pants and TPS Louisville FP104 Women's Ice Hockey Pants.

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