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Slazenger racquets

In 1881, and only 4 years after the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club held its first ever championships, Slazenger produced 'The New Game of Lawn Tennis' complete in a box. Slazenger wasone of the dominant (wooden) racquet manufacturers in the world of their time. Over the years they produced such a wide variety of sports equipment from tennis racquets to clothing from golf equipment to rifles. But it was their bold move into tennis ball manufacturing late in the 1800s that arguably saw their greatest business achievement. Their plant in Barnsley manufactured tennis balls and exported them round the world. In 1902 Slazengers were appointed as the official tennis ball supplier to The Championships, Wimbledon, and so began the longest unbroken sporting sponsorship in history. In 1877 there were 22 entries and 180 tennis balls were used, at the 1939 Championships there were 531 entries and 8,352 Slazenger Lawn Tennis Balls were used, by 2005 there were 668 entries and a staggering 52,000 Slazenger Lawn Tennis Balls were used.

With the popularity of the metal tennis racket from the early 1980s and then the fast transition to even more popular composite materials such as fiberglass, graphite, Kevlar and so on more and more brands became available to the consumer. These 'new' brands were more popular than the old, historic brands such as Slazenger. Add to this the rise in the quality of these products being produced and far cheaper in the East than anywhere else, Slazenger no longer could hold favour with the public, the brand slowly fell from grace.

 

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