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Head (company)

Head N.V. is a sports equipment and clothing company, known mainly for their skis and racquets.

Their tennis racquets are used by many top players such as Andre Agassi, Andy Murray, Younes El Aynaoui, Hicham Arazi, Marat Safin, Richard Gasquet, Mikhail Youzhny, Sebastien Grosjean, Ivan Ljubicic, Ivo Karlovic, Donald Young, Gael Monfils, Hyung-taik Lee, Anastasia Myskina, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Patty Schnyder, Amelie Mauresmo and many more. Roughly 30% of the Top 100 tennis players on the ATP Tour currently use Head tennis racquets. Their main rivals are Dunlop sport, Wilson, Prince, Volkl, Fischer, Babolat, Slazenger, Tecnifibre, and Yonex.

Head is also an industry leader in Racquetball, where 6 of the Top 10 players on the International Racquetball Tour use Head racquets, including current world #1 Jack Huczek and racquetball legend Sudsy Monchik. Apart from racquet sports, Head is also known for their diving equipment and skiing equipment. Most recently, Head had started making badminton racquets and bags.

The company is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.


The company was founded in Baltimore in 1950 by Howard Head, an aircraft engineer who invented the first metal ski. Shortly after the invention, Head became the leading ski manufacturer in the US and UK; it was the primary product of the company during the 1950s and 1960s. In the late Sixties, a tennis division was created when Howard Head figured out a way of strengthening the racquet by introducing the aluminium frame. The idea became a success and was first introduced in the 1969 U.S. Open. Also in 1969, Head signed Olympic champion skier Jean-Claude Killy to endorse a new metal and fiberglass ski, the Killy 800. Head subsequently developed a whole line of Killy skis.

In 1967, Howard Head hired Harold Seigle as company president, and became the Chairman of the Board and CEO. Despite the company's success, AMF took over the company in 1969 and Howard Head retired. Mr. Head later worked as chairman to Prince, Head's main rival, and developed the "oversized tennis racquet", which is the primary design for the modern tennis racquet. After Howard Head's departure, one of the tennis players that Head sponsored, Arthur Ashe, won Wimbledon, defeating Jimmy Connors in 1975. Also during the 1970s, Head acquired a diving manufacturer, Mares, and a ski binding company, Tyrolia. Under AMF ownership Head manufactured Tennis racquets in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A and in Kennelbach, Austria.

In 1985 Minstar acquires Head through AMF takeover.

In 1987, Head started making athletic footwear, and introduced the "Radial Tennis Shoes". The following year, Head opened a new plant in Austria, to make more tennis racquets.

In 1989 Management buys out Head, Tyrolia, and Mares, forming HTM. The take over was backed by venture capitalist firm Freeman Spogli & Co.

In 1993 HTM is sold to Austria Tabak.

Johan Eliasch, the current chairman, took over the company in 1995.

In 1997, Head had a major breakthrough, creating the first titanium and graphite tennis racquet. The racquet became an instant bestseller racquet technology. Over the next two years, Head acquired three more companies, DACOR, BLAX, and Penn.

Penn manufactures the #1 selling tennis ball and racquetball in America, and is currently the only tennis ball manufacturer to produce balls in the USA. Penn tennis balls are used in 10 of the Top 14 tennis tournaments in the world, while Penn racquetballs are the official ball of the IRT and U.S. Racquetball Association. Penn produces tennis balls and racquetballs in their factory in Phoenix.

In 2007, Head launched a new modern look for the brand and started making badminton gear, including racquets, bags, shoes, and apparel. They also modified their logo, giving it a new attitude, the type is thicker and more powerful.

Head Sponsorships in Tennis

Male Players:

Female Players:

See also


External links

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