Since the early nineteen twenties, GARED sports equipment has been the foundation of play in grade schools; collegiate, professional and international arenas; on grassy fields in city parks and neighborhoods from shore to shore, continent to continent.
We have been the backdrop to memories created by buzzer beaters, overtime free throws, frozen kickers, shot blocks, spikes, perfect serves, penalty kicks and extra inning homeruns more than any other brand. We've felt homecoming crowds stomp and seen fans cry in winning and defeat. We are even enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
To athletes of all skills, from beginners to pro, GARED is more than a brand - it's part of their legacy.
Gared was founded in 1922 by Mr. Alvie Sandeberg and was originally known as Non-Pareil Manufacturing Company. Initial products for Non-Pareil were striking bag platforms, as well as other gymnasium items. Basketball “hoops”, popular in most gymnasiums, were a natural evolution from the striking bag rings. Mr. Sandeberg held numerous patents for basketball goals, including the “no-tie” net attachment. No-tie net hooks were used to attach nets to the goals (nets were previously tied or taped onto the goal). By the mid 1940s, Non-Pareil was manufacturing glass backboards as well as goals, and these soon replaced striking bags as their primary products.
Non-Pareil was purchased in 1958 by Nixdorff Krein Inc. and renamed Gared Company. The name Gared was derived from the first name of the company chairman Mr. Edgar Littmann. The product was immediately expanded to include all types and styles of basketball backboards and goals, as well as volleyball and gymnasium equipment. In the late 1960s, Gared acquired Lillibridge Manufacturing Company, a manufacturer of residential basketball goals located in Aurora, Illinois. Operations at this location were consolidated at Gared’s St. Louis location in 1971.
The late 1970s saw the first breakaway rims as we now know them. Within ten years, the majority of competition play (high school, collegiate, professional) utilized breakaway rims. Rule changes in the early 1980s allowed for the introduction of a shorter glass backboard (42” x 72”) in addition to the standard 48” x 72” board.
In 1985 Gared Sports’ leading position in the industry was validated on two separate occasions. First, the NBA selected the company’s Outer Limit glass backboard and Snap Back breakaway rim to be used exclusively in all of their arenas (Gared boards and rims were used in all NBA arenas until 2009). Later that year, the company received the ultimate honor when its products were prominently displayed alongside basketball’s legends enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Gared acquired Toss Back Manufacturing Company of Dorrance, Kansas, in October 1988, and its manufacturing capabilities were absorbed into the St Louis location shortly after. The Toss Back brand was a recognized leader in skill development and training aid equipment, and helped to complete Gared’s expanding basketball product line. Also at this time, Gared Company was renamed Gared Sports Inc, due to its expanding role in the sporting goods industry.
In 1997, Gared Sports was purchased by Dimitrios Koukoulomatis and John Duggins, along with Performance Sports Systems, a small gymnasium equipment manufacturer based in Pendleton, Indiana. Together the two companies became known as Gared Holdings, LLC and both relocated to a new warehouse and manufacturing facility in Noblesville, Indiana. Although Gared manufacturing was moved from its longtime home in St. Louis, Missouri, its marketing, sales, and customer service operations were kept in St. Louis to preserve years of valuable employee experience.
The early 2000s brought many exciting new changes for Gared Sports. The company utilized the capital and other important resources provided by its new owners to boost productivity and accelerate growth. A larger warehouse facility and a new intergrated ERP system allowed for a larger inventory of products and shorter manufacturing lead times. With the addition of several new salespeople and a focus on new product development, Gared began expanding into several new markets in the United States and all over the world.
In addition to widening its basketball equipment selection with more backboard and rim options and several new portable systems, GARED also began making a name in other segments of the sports and recreation industry, including custom gymnasium structures, Park & Recreation equipment and amenities, scoreboards, and residential basketball systems. In 2009, Gared Sports changed its name to GARED to reflect its broadening product line that no longer just focused on sports equipment.
In 2013, Gared Holdings purchased additional manufacturing, warehouse, and office space, allowing the St. Louis Customer Service and Sales Office to be moved to the existing Noblesville, Indiana, location. This move enabled GARED to complete the final piece of its long-term vision of increased efficiency and continuity by having all of its companies located in one single building.
In 2016, Dimitrios Koukoulomatis and John Duggins sold Gared Holdings in a Managers Buyback transaction with financial backing of GenCap America. Don Carle, Mary Witte and Laura St. George became managing members and joined the board of directors. In 2019, Brian Karns joined the Gared Holdings team as President.