Sustainability| 4 min read

Talking Sports & Sustainability with Wilson Sporting Goods

Wilson has led the sporting goods industry since 1913, and is paving the way for a more sustainable future.
WRITTEN BY Tayllor Henczel

Protecting the planet is a big job, but luckily we’ve got help. We’ve teamed up with some of our favourite Planet Partners to get you in the sustainable mindset and help us plant more trees than ever. Our Planet Partners are changing the way we think about everyday things like food and sports to protect the world we play in. With their help, and yours too, we’re looking to shake things up and get the world thinking a little greener, one environmental-ish step at a time.

Wilson Sporting Goods has repped some of the world’s best athletes and is committed to making the future of sports more sustainable. This Earth Month, Wilson Tennis is launching an eco-conscious tennis racket and pushing the boundaries of conventional sporting goods. Drumroll please — Wilson Tennis is planting over 1 million trees with us for Earth Month!

Join us as they talk about their breakthrough developments in sustainable sporting equipment.

 

Wilson Tennis’ Naked Series rackets are unpainted, making them a more sustainable choice.

 

Q: Tell us a little bit about Wilson Sporting Goods.

Wilson Sporting Goods is a global leading manufacturer of high-performance equipment, accessories and apparel. Founded in 1913, Wilson aims to empower all people to live like athletes. We’re the world’s leading manufacturer of ball sports equipment — we’re the official ball provider of the NFL, U.S. Open, and NBA. Wilson Tennis is leading in the industry, and we sponsor top athletes including Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

Q: What has sustainability looked like for Wilson Sporting Goods? What are sustainability goals for the future?

At Wilson Sporting Goods, we aspire to rethink, re-educate and reinvent the way we live, work and play – but we acknowledge that as an organization we have a long way to go! Here are some of our sustainable steps along the way.

2018: Wilson Tennis partners with Recycle Balls to collect/recycle/reuse 20 million tennis balls in the U.S. over a three-year period.

2019: Wilson Tennis introduces the world’s first eco-conscious, high-performance tennis ball – Triniti. With 100% sustainable packaging, they maintain a fresh ball feel 4x longer to reduce consumption and waste. 5% of Triniti profits support worldwide sustainability efforts.

2019: Wilson Pact is founded, introducing sustainably minded habits into the fabric of Wilson Sporting Goods’ company culture.

2020: Wilson Tennis introduces the Eco Overcap across key tennis ball franchises, reducing the amount of plastic by half and leaving a smaller footprint on the environment after it has been used.

In the future, we will be adding a lot of more sustainable materials, and we expect to fail some as we learn. But as we nail the advances we plan to add them to our inline products to multiply their effect.

Q: While we know sustainability requires an everyday effort, Earth Month is a powerful time to amplify earth-first causes. What is Wilson doing for Earth Month?

On Earth Day, Wilson Tennis is introducing its first series of rackets produced with a focus on sustainability in all aspects of production. The Naked Series features 4 unpainted tennis rackets, which also feature non-dyed bumper and grommets, a biodegradable PU grip, and 100% sustainable packaging. The series includes 1 racket from each of our best-selling franchises. Plus, we’re planting 2500 trees with tentree per racket sold, in the effort to plant more than 1 million trees.

 

The Naked Series line up: choose from four eco-conscious rackets.

 

Q: Would you say sustainable sports equipment is revolutionary for the industry?

Sadly, yes. Our industry as a whole has a long way to go in being truly sustainable. We acknowledge that the time to change needs to be now, and we’re excited to play a big role in leading this change. The Naked Series is just a small step in what we hope to accomplish.

Q: How do you see the sports and entertainment industry changing to adapt more sustainable practices? How do you see Wilson as a part of that?

There is definitely an elevated level of awareness of the impact large events have on our environment. Energy, water, materials — we all have an opportunity to improve. Wilson Sporting Goods’ role is ensuring that the sporting goods and equipment we provide are as sustainable as possible without sacrificing performance. In the areas where we still have work to do, we will make a conscious effort to offset our impact — like what we’re doing with tentree, planting more than 1 million trees.

 

A preview of one of four of the Naked Series rackets.

 

Q: Can you share three tips for people looking to live more sustainably when it comes to their sports and entertainment choices?

  • Whenever you play a sport, always leave the field better than you found it. Always pick up the trash and take it with you.
  • When you’re done with a piece of sporting goods equipment, repair it, resell it, or hand it down to somebody else.
  • Whenever you’re going to an event or play sports with friends, try to walk, bike, run, carpool, ride share, whatever you can to keep emissions down.

 

Want to learn more about Wilson Sporting Goods and maybe snag a racket? Check out their website (they ship to the US currently).

Interested in sustainability and sports? We look at how large sports franchises and events in professional sports tackle sustainability.

Sustainability

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