Did you know that tennis ranks as the fourth most popular sport worldwide? In fact, more than 1.2 billion people watch or play tennis regularly. In the US alone, the number of tennis players totals to about 17.96 million players. The sport contributes $5.6 billion to the economy of the United States annually. The primary source of this revenue comes from the 3.4 million rackets sold in the US every year. In the UK, tennis contributes $2.5 billion to that economy. The Babolat Tennis Company plays a critical role in these two markets, among others.
The Babolat Tennis Company and the World of Tennis
The biggest manufacturers in the tennis industry are Babolat, Wilson, Head, and Prince. Babolat is the largest and some of its most popular products include the Aero Pro-Drive, the Pure Drive, and the Pure Drive GT. Currently, Babolat sells more rackets than any other manufacturer of tennis gear while also making badminton and squash equipment. Babolat's annual revenue stands at $155.55 million. It employs more than 360 people.
The History of the Babolat Tennis Company
Pierre Babolat founded the company in the 1800s. He started making strings for sausage cases and musical instruments in 1875, but he also made them for tennis players. The raw materials for his products came from the guts of dead animals. Tennis became popular in the late 1800s and Babolat shifted his primary focus to tennis rackets.
Famous Tennis Players Who Use Babolat Products
Babolat tennis equipment is common in all Grand Slam events. For example, nearly 170 entrants in Wimbledon use one or more Babolat items during the tournament. In 1925, Rene Lacoste won the French Open using a racket made with strings from Babolat. In 1994, Babolat launched its first tennis racket. It gave free rackets to many players including Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, and Andy Roddick. Some of these players won Grand Slam events. Li Na, Eugenie Bouchard, and Rafael Nadal still use Babolat products. Rafael Nadal is tied for second in grand slams, and uses a tennis dampener.
The Babolat Tennis Company and Its New Line of Products
In 2003, the 141-year-old company started selling clothes, accessories, and footwear. All of these products were tennis related. In 2012, Babolat introduced a range of advanced rackets that transmit data to a player’s computer and in 2014, the company launched a connected racket supplementing it in 2015 with a wrist-based tennis sensor and display. Babolat promises to launch as many innovative products as possible in the future. Babolat is known for making light, powerful tennis racquets which usually need vibrasorbs.
Recent Controversies Surrounding the Babolat Company
Unfortunately, this company does not exist without controversy. It manufactures vibrasorbs, the functionality of which has been questioned in the past. Some of its dampeners have flown out of players’ rackets and some dampeners are too thick. The best tennis dampeners will stay in. Which means they interfere with the optimal aerodynamics of the swing. In 2015, the officials of the French Open decided to change from Dunlop to Babolat tennis balls causing quite a stir among players during the tournament, many of whom felt that Babolat tennis balls were fast difficult to control. However, people seem to love Babolat products despite these controversies.
Babolat has changed the game by providing new racquets that are light weight but still have great feel. These racquets would go best with the POWERSORB weighted vibration dampener because of the excess power Babolat racquets can provide.