Rawlings® Strikes Gold With New Baseball Partnership

24-karat gold leather special edition baseballs available this month

Mar 15, 2011, 13:40 ET from Rawlings

ST. LOUIS, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rawlings, the number-one baseball brand worldwide and exclusive supplier of baseballs to Major League Baseball®, recently announced a joint venture with New York based Gold Sport Collectibles that will bring official Major League® baseballs made with 24-karat gold leather to the baseball collectors' market. Rawlings will serve an integral role in the development and marketing of the new collectible item.

"At Rawlings, we pride ourselves on providing athletes with high-performing products that surpass the traditional standards of quality," said Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President of Marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings, a subsidiary of Jarden Team Sports.  "The partnership with Gold Sport Collectibles was a natural fit for the Rawlings brand as it allowed us to build on our existing relationship with Major League Baseball and create a unique, high-quality collectible item for baseball enthusiasts."

The unique process of fusing gold into leather was mastered by the Italian company, Mi Piaci S.r.L- an exclusive affiliate of Gold Sport Collectibles.  The proprietary and 100% environmentally-friendly process fills the leather with 24-karat gold yet leaves the leather feeling soft and untreated.  Using this 24-karat leather, each ball is hand sewn to official Major League specifications, stamped with an official team logo and placed into a vivid display case.  Each ball is backed with an official certification that will be included with the finished product.    

"Gold Sport Collectibles is proud to partner with Rawlings - the most authentic and trusted brand in baseball - in bringing this revolutionary item to the collectibles market," said Stefano Ongaro, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for Gold Sport Collectibles. "This collaboration reflects our mutual goal of creating collectables that baseball fans can rely on to commemorate their favorite teams in a way that is truly exceptional."

Gold Sport Collectibles will offer the 24-karat league standard ball featuring official Major League Baseball team logos as well as All-Star Game®, World Series®, and National and American League™ logos.  The 24-karat gold baseballs, to be distributed in select locations throughout the U.S. and Canada during initial launch, will retail for $325 and will be available on www.goldsportcollectibles.com beginning in late March 2011.

About Rawlings

Rawlings is a leading manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods in the United States and a subsidiary of Jarden Team Sports.  Since the company's inception in 1887, Rawlings' mission has always centered on developing and producing innovative, high-performance equipment and protective apparel for the professional player.  With an assortment of baseball, basketball, football and softball game-related product lines, Rawlings is present everywhere team sports are played.   Leagues and conferences of all skill levels integrate Rawlings' unparalleled product portfolio into their sports: as the Official Baseball and Official Helmet to Major League Baseball®, the official baseball for the NCAA®, the official football for the NAIA®, the official basketball for the NAIA, NJCAA® and AAU®, the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®.  For more information, please visit rawlings.com, Rawlings' Facebook page or by phone at (314) 819-2800.

About Jarden Corporation

Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of niche consumer products.  Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, Aero®,  Berkley®, Campingaz® and Coleman®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, K2®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Rawlings®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Volkl® and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Forster®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®, Leslie-Locke®, Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, Quickie®, Spontex® and Tigex®.  Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden has more than 25,000 employees worldwide. For more information, please visit www.jarden.com.

SOURCE Rawlings