Any and every athlete of any capacity has their favorite, or “go to brand”.  There are many to choose from and usually we make our decisions based on reliability, popularity, and style. Whether it is for apparel, gear or body fuel, everyone has “that” brand that they trust most. Throughout the entire world of sports, there are countless brands, and some would say it is impossible to compare them.  But not for Buckets of Violence. We have comprised our individual lists of who we think are the top 10 companies in sports. This is based off of practicality, popularity and industry domination.

Johnny Top 10

Johnny_V_Head_Shots-121

#10 EA Sports

EA_Sports

Video games are ingrained in culture and that is no different when it comes to sports culture. Often times people are not capable of playing sports. Whether it’s physical, financial, or geographical. With the dawn of the EA Sports video games everyone has been able to have a realistic experience playing sports. EA Sports has also brought prominence to some of the less popular sports like hockey and soccer. I understand not all things are created equal and EA has had some flops over the years, but all and all this brand has truly changed sport culture.

#9 Vans

Vans

Skateboarding first became popular in the late 60’s and early 70’s. During the first boom Vans saw a market for skateboarding specific shoes. However just as fast as it came the skateboarding craze faded into irrelevance. In spite of that Vans never stopped producing quality skateboarding shoes and clothing. They stayed committed to the sport and when Tony Hawk and the gang brought the movement back Vans was right there. Planted as the flagship clothing and shoe brand of skateboarding. In the years since Vans has gone on to be a full blown street wear company, but they have never left their skateboarding roots.

#8 Umbro

Umbro

Soccer is a sport that cares as much about style as it does the quality of game play. Teams kits attempt to embody the city in which the team plays. A lot of credit for the importance of soccer fashion goes to Umbro. One of the original kit producer in the sport you can thank them for a number of famous kits. Today soccer is ruled by brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, and New Balance. Yet that hasn’t stopped Umbro form still being one of the dominant kit creators in all of international soccer.

#7 Rogue

Rogue

Weightlifting is important no matter what sport you play. So to explain the importance of this company all you have to do is take a look around in any weight room. However Rogue isn’t resting on their laurels. They have revolutionized the fitness game in both technique and style. Bringin athletes to peak physical ability while helping them instill pride in their team.

#6 Bauer

Bauer

Bauer is not the original hockey brand, but the name brings one thought into the mind of every hockey player “quality”. CCM, Jofa, Warrior, and Easton have all had their prime runs in hockey equipment. Inevitably the hottest piece of gear is exposed to be either cheap or unsafe. Bauer on the other hand has maintained its spot as the number one hockey equipment provider for years. Never introducing anything flashy but simply delivering quality product for decades. Need further proof? Lets examin the most hansom human in hockey, King Henrik Lundqvist. Hank demand the best in ever aspect of his life. The nicest cars, clothing, guitars, and food. Why would he lower his personal standards when it comes to his gear? Often the best dressed goalie in the game Hank and Bauer are unamis, just as they are both unanimous with quality.

#5 Majestic

Majestic

At some point in time everyone plays little league. When that time comes there are few things better than a brand new majestic baseball. The smell of it, the way it feels in your hand. It’s one of the best parts of your childhood. As you grow as a sports fan you embrace majestic again, this in the hat of your favorite team. Baseball hats often become more than a symbol of a team, it becomes a identifier for the entire city. People who have never watched a baseball game in their life will still wear the iconic letter and colors of their city. Full credit goes to Majest for this particular piece of the unifor reaching such an iconic status.

#4 Gatorade

Gatorade

Water sucks… It really really sucks… In the sense that it can not adequately replenish and athlete in the middle of a game. Then one day at the University of Florida someone created a recipe that would change sports forever. Gatorade was an immediate success. With it came a revolution of every sport under the planet having its top stars signed to promotional deals with the sports drink. Creating some of the most iconic commercials and branding in sports history. Gatorade is so ingrained in sports that most young athletes know they drink Gatorade before they understand the rules of their game.

#3 ESPN

ESPN-Logo

Sports on television was considered a special feature. That is until Entertainment and Sports Programming Network was created. A channel solely dedicated to sports and sports content. Just saying those words out loud still makes my heart skip a beat. ESPN essentially gave permission for sports fans to fully indulge in their favorite past time. It made the giant world of sports smaller with the creation of SportsCenter. The daily show that encapsulated every game from the day before. Giving you highlights, analysis, and major news in sports. Every sports fans knows they can’t truly start their day until Linda Cohen fills us in what happened the night before. Thank you ESPN for daring to truly change sports forever.

#2 Franklin

franklin

Sports can be expensive. Name brands in every sport can price out underprivileged players. That is until Franklin Sports Inc. enters the equation. Creating a cheaper alternative to the big name brands allowing everyone to play. Franklin separates itself not just in the price, but also by creating gear for every sport. Baseball, hockey, soccer, football, basketball you name it. Every athlete at one point in time has had a Franklin piece of gear that served as the vehicle for them to fall in love with the game.

#1 Nike

nike

Soccer, Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Golf, Track, the list goes on. Nike is the top dog in sports. Wether its clothing, shoes, or equipment Nike has their fingers in everything. However their dedication to sports doesn’t stop there. Nike is also responsible for bringing technology into sport to help us better understand athletes. By adding actual microchips into their shoes and gear we have been able to take giant leaps forward in how to care and protect athletes. Say what you will about their business practices Nike is essential to sports, and more importantly the athletes that play them.

Benny Top 10

Benny_Bucketts

#10 Umbro

Umbro

This is a brand that has for some odd reason become less popular over the recent years, but for a majority of the last 30 – 40 years, Umbro has been a titan of the sports and more specifically soccer gear industry.  They sponsored multiple national and club teams primarily through the 80’s and 90’s and were one of the top 3 cleat manufacturers in the world for some time. This brand cornered the soccer market. Even though they are currently declining, they historically are an all time great in the world of soccer.

#9  Callaway

Callaway

I know this brand is hot contention with brands like TaylorMade, and Titleist, but to me, Callaway is the most trusted golf brand in America.  Callaway clubs are the highest customer satisfaction rated golf club manufacturer. I am biased in this as well because I am Callaway loyal. Their apparel is very successful as well, and is seen by most pro golfers as their go-to brand.

#8 Bauer

Bauer

As my partner stated, Bauer was the original hockey brand, and is a titan of the industry today. In contention with CCM an Warrior, Baur still remains in the lead of sales of hockey gear, and is the most popularly used brand by current players today.

#7 Vans

Vans

This shit is “off the wall”.  Skateboarding is a sport most people don’t often think of, but when “Vans” is mentioned people think of the sport or when skateboarding is brought up, Vans is the first thought as the “skater shoe”.  I personally love how Vans has been able to take over the Skateboarding world with their shoes and apparel, not to mention also putting out skate equipment as well, and sponsoring countless skateboarding events.

#6 Wilson

Wilson

This is a very underrated brand in my opinion considering they make gear for football, basketball, baseball, tennis and golf.  Plenty of pitchers in the MLB, and tennis players use Wilson’s gloves and racquets. In fact, it is the most conquering brand in those sports.  Wilson produces the NFL’s footballs and NCAA’s college basketballs. They make golf gear (I own a set of Wilson clubs), and plenty of leisure sports equipment items too.  Wilson isn’t the first brand you think of, but everyone recognizes the logo and has probably played sports with Wilson equipment before. And if you’re Tom Hanks, he’s your best friend.

#5 EA sports

EA_Sports

“EA Sports, it’s in the game!”.  Something everyone recognizes. EA has dominated the sports game industry over the years.  Sure NBA 2k has put up a fight, but between MLB the Show, NHL, FIFA, and of course the Madden franchise, EA is clearly the sports game king.  They have bridged the gap between the sports and the fans giving us the chance to virtually be those athletes vicariously through the game, making them so special.

#4 Adidas

Adidas

“STRIPES OVER CHECKS” jk I’m team Nike, but Adidas has been it’s biggest competitor for years.  Adidas has been able to land talent such as Derrick Rose, James Harden, Juju Smith Schuster, Lionel Messi and many others in their prime for endorsements.  They cover all sports and have one of the widest varieties in all sports equipment, gear and apparel in all of sports.

#3 ESPN

ESPN-Logo

This Sports Broadcasting icon is the most popular and world wide sports news agency in the world.  It connects fans to what they love most. ESPN has dozens of shows that cover sports, along with obviously a ton of actual games to be spectated.  They are home to many exclusive coverages, broadcasters, and sports news that most other agencies are not. They have been at it since the 70’s and no one has been able to catch them which is why they take my number 3 spot.

#2 Gatorade

Gatorade

The Sports Drinks phenomenon that started with the Florida Gators in the 60’s which became “‘Gator’ade”.  We have all seen the epic comericals. So many athletes have featured in them and almost any athlete ever since the creation has consumed gatorade during or after playing a sport.  Athletes like Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson helped get the brand off the ground. Vitamin Water and Propel are horse piss compared to Gatorade. Gatorade is known across the globe and truly is a cultural icon.  This is why the monopoly owner of electrolytes snags my next to best place.

#1 Nike

nike

Was this even a question?  Nike simply has and does EVERYTHING. They have the most pro athlete signings of any brand and span across literally every single minute sport.  They sponsor from top to bottom, every activity. Nike has been the #1 sports brand in America for decades and even adidas can’t catch up just yet even though they are closest.  Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan. All three are arguably the goat of their sport, and signed with Nike just like hundreds of others. Nike is simply the top dog in every single aspect of sports and it’s undeniable.  Haters gonna hate.

We had some differences there for a multitude of reasons.  Who’s was more accurate? What would you change about our lists?  Let us know on all forms of social media through Facebook at Thoughts From the Bench, Instagram @thoughtsfromthebench, and Twitter @ThoughtsFTB.  Thanks again for supporting the best duo in sports reporting.

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Written by Johnny Violence

The lead NHL/Hockey writer for Thoughts From The Bench.

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