About Prince Sports
Prince Sports, Inc., based in Bordentown, New Jersey, is a manufacturer of equipment for racquet sports, primarily for tennis, badminton, and squash.
Its trademarks include Prince (tennis, squash and badminton), Ektelon (racquetball) and Viking (platform/paddle tennis). The company has produced the first “oversize” and “longbody” racquets, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe, the first “synthetic gut” string and the first electronic ball machine. Prince markets technologies in racquets (O3, EXO3), string (Recoil), footwear (Precision Tube Technology) and apparel (Aerotech).
The company was founded in 1970 by Robert H. McClure of Princeton, New Jersey, (hence the name Prince) as a manufacturer of tennis ball machines, and went on to manufacture racquets. Howard Head, founder of the Head Ski Company, took tennis lessons following his retirement (his company was acquired by AMF in 1969). He used one of the tennis ball machines made by Prince, but was frustrated by his slow improvement in the game. Head joined the company in the early 1970s and developed the company’s signature oversized tennis racquet.
The company has been owned by a variety of different firms, including at the Benetton Group of Italy and Chesebrough-Ponds, however it is currently owned by affiliates of Nautic Partners, a Providence, Rhode Island-based private equity firm.