Rawlings and Easton announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Rawlings to acquire Easton Diamond Sports.
In the press release, Easton president Dan Jelinek said, “We believe the combination of these two leading brands will accelerate innovation, provide for greater investments in growing baseball and softball, and positively impact all constituents in and around the sports of baseball and softball.”
Major League Baseball, who became part-owner of Rawlings in 2018, also weighed in on the acquisition. MLB Chief Operations and Strategy Officer Chris Marinak said, “Rawlings and Easton are both All-Star companies. Capitalizing on the strength of these two companies will help drive future growth opportunities for baseball and softball at all levels of play.” In related news, Rawlings recently became the “Official Glove of MLB,” which enhances the MLB-Rawlings partnership and raises some questions about their plans for Easton.
Aside from “growing the game,” according to company executives, how does the acquisition affect their competing product lines? For example, Justin Turner will be wearing an Easton glove in the World Series. Will he be a Rawlings guy next year?
While Rawlings has the clear edge in ballgloves, Easton, who just dropped the B5 Pro Big Barrel to much fanfare, probably has the upper hand in metal bats.
Rawlings Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Thompson, declined to comment on the glove and metal bat categories, and we can expect that it’ll become more clear in the months ahead.
What do you think about the acquisition? What do you think they’ll do in the glove and bat categories? Anything you’d like to see the companies collaborate on?