Brunswick Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high-quality products for recreational enthusiasts. Brunswick is the world leader in each of its product categories - pleasure boats, marine engines, fitness equipment, bowling equipment and billiards tables. It is also a leader in marine electronics and navigation systems.
The company's brands include Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Teignbridge propellers; MotoTron electronic controls; Northstar marine electronics; Navman marine and GPS-based products; IDS dealer management systems; Albemarle, Arvor, Baja, Bayliner, Bermuda, Boston Whaler, Crestliner, HarrisKayot, Hatteras, Lowe, Lund, Maxum, Meridian, Ornvik, Palmetto, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Savage, Sea Boss, Sea Pro, Sea Ray, Sealine, Triton, Trophy, Uttern and Valiant boats; Attwood marine parts and accessories; Land 'N' Sea and Kellogg Marine parts and accessories distributors; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and ParaBody fitness equipment; Brunswick bowling centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables; and Valley-Dynamo pool, Air Hockey and foosball tables.
Brunswick reported record sales in 2005 of $5.92 billion, up 13% from the previous year. Net earnings were $385.4 million.
The company was founded by John Brunswick, who built one of the first billiards tables in America in 1845, during a time when business in his carriage-making firm in Cincinnati was slow. The craftsmanship and design of his tables were well received, and the billiards business began to boom. The firm opened its first Chicago sales office in Chicago in 1848 and the headquarters soon followed.
The company would enter the bowling ball business in 1906.
Although the Company had begun exploring automatic pinsetters for bowling alleys as early as 1911, the 1950s introduced the technology necessary for making that vision a reality. After a flurry of research and development, the first Brunswick Automatic Pinsetters went into operation in 1956, ushering in a new era of explosive growth for the Company. Bowling became a recreational craze and experienced an unprecedented boom. Fueled by this success, Brunswick set out to become what the Company called the "General Motors" of Sports. After adding several smaller acquisitions, Brunswick acquired MacGregor Sports Products in 1958 to broaden its sports line. Among several other companies added by Brunswick during this period of growth was Zebco fishing reels in 1961.
In 1960, the pace of expansion continued as the Company entered the boating business with its purchase of Owens Yacht Co. and Larson Boats. A year later, the predecessor to Mercury Marine entered the Brunswick fold. Mercury would become the world's leading supplier of marine propulsion, and in terms of sales at this writing, Brunswick's largest operating segment.
During the 1960s, while the firm's other businesses were doing well, the bowling boom went bust. The Company created a division that operated a number of financially troubled bowling centers in order to weather the storm.
In 1968, Brunswick combined seven medical product businesses to form Sherwood Medical Industries. During the 1970s, Brunswick evolved into four distinct operating groups: Marine Power, Recreation, Technical and Medical.
In 1986, Brunswick moved quickly to become the undisputed leader in recreational boating when it acquired the world's two largest boat manufacturers, Bayliner Marine Corp. and Sea Ray Industries.
Updated March 2, 2006