Today, YONEX is a successful global company with its corporate headquarters located in Tokyo, Japan. Subsidiary companies operate around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Taiwan and China(Golf). YONEX continues to be driven to produce the most technologically advanced sports equipment to enable players, both amateur and professional, to play their sport at a higher level. But where did it all start?
The YONEX Philosophy is established by the ‘One Motor’
In 1946, just after the end of World War II, YONEX is established using a single one horsepower motor. After refining the technique of wood manufacturing, YONEX starts to manufacture badminton racquets in 1957. In 1969, YONEX embarks on tennis racquets made with aluminum, and then in 1982, YONEX starts to produce golf clubs made with raw carbon materials. Today, YONEX’s business also encompasses the snowboard, walking shoes, football kit, sport bike and wind turbine blade industries. It has not been an easy ride during the company’s 60 year history. YONEX has learned that “the toughest situation makes the greatest chance.” This spirit will carry YONEX through all the challenges it takes to make the next 100 years successful.
Minoru Yoneyama founds Yoneyama Company, Ltd., a producer of wooden floats for fishing nets. His wood-crafting business thrives until modern advancements – namely plastic floats – force the company out of the float business. At this time, frustrated by being pushed aside by advanced technology, Yoneyama vows never again to be left behind technologically. Thus, he begins a commitment that eventually leads to innovations in the world of golf, tennis, and badminton. Relying on strengths in wood crafting, the Yoneyama Company evolves into manufacturing badminton racquets in 1957 under other brand names.
Minoru focused on an imported sport that was growing fast post-war — badminton. Growing up in a cold country town, he also wanted to focus on a sport that was something people could play indoors. Making daily visits to Japanese racquet producer Sanbata, he negotiated a deal to be the company’s official equipment manufacturer (OEM) and so became Sanbata’s subcontractor. The first steps into the badminton market.
A growing market – loads of possibilities!
Finding a growing market, the Yonex Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary) was established in Torrance, California in July 1983. In 1992 Yonex introduced the widebody badminton racket, the “Isometric 500”, a racquet that was much less “tear drop”-shaped than previous ones. The more “square” head gave it a much larger striking surface, which provides a larger “sweet spot” to hit the shuttle. It led other manufacturers to follow suit in “square-head” or isometric designs. The parent company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1994. Yonex describes itself as the world leader in golf, tennis and badminton equipment. Yonex provides clothing for national badminton associations around the world, such as the Malaysian Badminton Association, Badminton Scotland, Badminton England, Badminton Ireland, and Badminton Wales. Yonex has also been teaming up with OCBC (Orange County Badminton Club) since 2007 to host the annual U.S. Open Grand Prix Badminton Championships.
Yonex has become the dominant corporate player in badminton. Yonex sponsors the All England Open Badminton Championships and is a partner of the Badminton World Federation which organizes the World Championships. Upwards of 80% of competitive players use their racquets, as it is the preferred choice amongst professionals. Yonex is significant in the tennis and golf industries as well and is a major sponsor of professional athletes in all three sports.
10 years later in 2004 YONEX was selected as the “Super Brand” – the most influential brand – in Indonesia and Malaysia. YONEX presents a special racquet to Mrs. Megawati, the former president of Indonesia as a memento of winning the award.
Enriching the World Through Sport
Sport is enjoyed across the globe. The feeling of existing in the moment, with every fibre alive with excitement can be recognised and understood universally. Amid a busy and complex world, YONEX has a simple goal; to enrich people’s lives through sport, giving them a happier and healthier lifestyle. YONEX aims to encourage and spread the joy of sport through its wide range of products, which are suitable for all ranges of players from amateurs to professionals. YONEX believes that sport is for everyone to enjoy, at any level. As a global company, YONEX feels that it is its distinct obligation to give something back to society. YONEX demonstrates social responsibility through its involvement in a number of campaigns designed to positively impact society and help to educate others on the health benefits of sport. YONEX is the proud title sponsor for a number of tournaments, including the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, the YONEX OPEN JAPAN badminton tournament, and the YONEX Ladies Golf Tournament. Through sponsoring a range of events, from grass-roots competitions through to some of the world’s most renowned tournaments, YONEX helps to promote the true essence of sport as a wholesome and character building pursuit.
The YONEX logo
Blue and Green: The YONEX Logo. The blue sky and green grass come together to create the perfect sporting stage; a vast arena where sport can naturally thrive. Universally recognised, our logo symbolises the feeling of freedom enjoyed when immersed in sport. Our logo is a blue and green mark that calls out to all, spreading the message about the wonder of sport, as well as the benefit and satisfaction in taking part regardless of race, language or appearance. The blue and green of YONEX is designed to touch everyone who is involved in sport to show our commitment and acknowledge their passion and love of sport.
Since I was appointed as the president, my aim has always remained the same – to pursue the “highest quality” and to achieve “World No.1”. All of us at Yonex need to think thoroughly, express our own opinions, put them into practice, and for the best of our daily activities. Each “No.1” effort should come together to create the products we provide with confidence and pride, making it possible for us to share the joy of sports with customers. This is what we have to do as Yonex, as a manufacturer.President, Kusaki Hayashida