Head (company)
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Head Company
Head N.V.
Naamloze vennootschap
IndustrySports equipment
Founded1950; 70 years ago (1950) in Baltimore, Maryland)
FounderHoward Head
Key people
Howard Head (founder)
Johan Eliasch (CEO)
ProductsSportswear, equipment, footwear
BrandsKizamu [1]
RevenueIncrease $375.4 million (2014)[2]
Decrease $2.8 million (2014)[2]
Number of employees
2,499 (2014)[2]
ParentHead N.V. [3]

Head N.V. is an American-Dutch manufacturing company headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Head N.V. is a group that includes several previously independent companies, including the original "Head Ski Company" (founded in the United States in 1950); Tyrolia, an Austrian ski-equipment manufacturer; and Mares, an Italian manufacturer of diving equipment.[3]

Head currently produces a wide range of products for skiing, snowboarding, swimming, tennis and other racket sports. The company has also subsidiaries in Kennelbach, Austria, and Boulder, Colorado, United States.

Head Ski Company produced one of the first successful metal-wood composite downhill skis, the Head Standard, and one of the first oversized metal tennis rackets.[4]


Head N.V. was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, in 1950 by aeronautical engineer Howard Head, after he took a ski trip and was astonished to see his skis were made of wood in an era when metals and plastics were replacing wood in many product designs. Head worked at the Glenn L. Martin Company where they used a form of aluminum and plastic laminate to build the fuselages of aircraft, and he felt the same material would make an ideal ski. After two years of constantly breaking skis, by the winter of 1950 they had a design that not only stayed together, but made turning dramatically easier.

The Head Standard would rapidly grow in sales through the 1950s, until it and other Head designs were capturing over 50% of the US market during the 1960s, making them the leading ski manufacturer in the U.S. and the UK. Head resisted the change to fibreglass construction. In 1967, Howard Head hired Harold Seigle as company president, and became the Chairman of the Board and CEO. Bored of the results, in 1969 Head sold the company to the AMF, and took up tennis. He later bought a controlling interest in Prince Sports.

Head products
Tennis racket used by Marat Safin

In the late 1960s, a tennis division was created when Howard Head figured out a way of strengthening the tennis racket by introducing the aluminium frame. The idea became a success and was first introduced in the 1969 US Open. After Howard Head's departure, one of the tennis players that Head sponsored, Arthur Ashe, won Wimbledon, defeating favored Jimmy Connors in 1975. Also during the 1970s, Head acquired a diving manufacturer, Mares, and a ski binding company, Tyrolia. While under AMF ownership, Head manufactured tennis racquets in Boulder, Colorado, and Kennelbach, Austria. Also in 1969, Head signed Olympic champion ski racer Jean-Claude Killy to endorse a new metal and fiberglass ski, the Killy 800. Head subsequently developed an entire product line of Killy skis.

In 1985, Minneapolis-based Minstar Inc. acquired Head through hostile takeover of AMF.[5] Two years later, Head started making athletic footwear, and introduced the "Radial Tennis Shoes". The following year, Head opened a new plant in Austria in order to produce more tennis rackets. In 1989, management bought out Head, Tyrolia, and Mares, to form HTM. The takeover was backed by private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co. In 1993, HTM was sold to tobacco conglomerate Austria Tabak. Johan Eliasch, the current chairman, took over the company in 1995, which in 2014 was a Netherlands Antilles corporation.[6]

In 1997, Head created the first titanium and graphite tennis racket. Over the next two years, Head acquired three more companies, DACOR, BLAX, and Penn Racquet Sports. Penn tennis balls are used in many high-profile tournaments worldwide, while Penn racquetballs are the official balls of the IRT and U.S. Racquetball Association. Penn once produced tennis balls and racquetballs in Phoenix, Arizona. In March 2009, Head shut down the Penn ball manufacturing factory. Now all tennis balls are produced in China.

Head also licenses its brand to makers of clothing apparel (including shoes), accessories, bicycles, skates, watches, balls and fitness Equipment.[7]

Head proved to be successful in 2012, with three Major winners during the year: Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, Maria Sharapova at the French Open and Andy Murray at the US Open.[8]

In 2019, it was reported that Head purchased ASE assets.[9] ASE is the owner of Fuji Bikes, Breezer Bikes, SE Bikes, Kestrel Bikes, Tuesday Bikes, PHAT Bikes, Oval, Performance Bicycle Stores and Nasbar. On January 22, 2019 it was reported that Head Sports backed out of the deal to buy ASE.[10]


Current range of products by Head includes:

Sport Equipment
Skiing Skis, boots, bindings, poles, helmets, goggles, bags
Snowboarding Boards, helmets, sunglasses, boots, bindings, bags
Swimming Swimwear: suits, goggles, apparel
Tennis Rackets, strings, balls, sneakers, clothing, bags


Some of the athletes sponsored by Head are:

Alpine Skiing World Cup




See also


  1. ^ Kizamu products on Head website
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b "Head N.V. History". Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Howard Head: Ski and Racquet Revolutionary". Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Daniels, Lee A. (15 June 1985). "AMF Agrees to Offer By Jacobs of $24 a Share". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2014" (PDF).
  7. ^ "About".
  8. ^ "Tennis".
  9. ^ Head Sport agrees to buy most ASE assets for $22M by Steve Frothingham on Bycicle Retailer, January 17, 2019
  10. ^ "ASE explains why it rejected the largest bid for its assets". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Cyprien Richard rejoint Head" [Cyprien Richard joins Head]. Le Dauphiné libéré (in French). 8 June 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ Kjetil Jansrud - https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/kRLMQ/Jansrud-ogsa-med-Head-ski
  13. ^ skiracing.com - May-2010
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ fisalpine.com - April-2011
  16. ^ "Lara Gut - Professional Skier from Switzerland".
  17. ^ Aksel Lund Svindal - http://msn.tv2sporten.no/ovrig/lund-svindal-bytter-skimerke-faar-gullkantet-avtale-3182196.html Archived 2010-04-16 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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