PrideSports, a manufacturer and provider of golf traction elements, golf tees and other golf-related accessories, has merged with MacNeill Engineering, maker of Champ spikes, to create a new holding company, MacNeill Pride Group.

The new company will be the largest global designer, manufacturer and distributor of replaceable sport and industrial cleats and other golf accessories.

PrideSports, a portfolio company of middle-market private equity firm Centre Partners, is a leading supplier of golf cleats, golf tees and accessories to OEMs, retailers and pro shops worldwide, and is the largest American producer of wooden tees out of its manufacturing operations in the state of Maine. MacNeill Engineering is a Marlborough, MA-based manufacturer and provider of metal and plastic traction components found in shoes across a broad range of sports – including football, baseball, soccer, track, lacrosse, rugby, cricket and golf. A fourth-generation family business, MacNeill Engineering was founded in 1931 by Harold MacNeill and over the last 80 years has evolved into the preeminent supplier of traction elements to the world’s largest sports footwear companies.

“The merger of PrideSports and MacNeill Engineering is an exciting development for everyone associated with our companies,” said Joe Zeller, president and CEO of the newly combined entity.  “PrideSports will take the best of both organizations to provide world-class traction technology across a myriad of field sports. The Champ brand is globally renowned for its performance in golf, soccer, football, track and other field sports and we look forward to bringing it together with our Softspikes line of golf cleats and accessories. We will continue to look for opportunities that help to position the company for enhanced growth and performance in the future.”

Harris MacNeill, president and CEO of MacNeill Engineering, said, “Both companies have a deep history of innovation in the sports industry and the merged PrideSports will position the new entity for continued success.  Original equipment manufacturers, retailers and athletes will all benefit from strengthened R&D, increased distribution, reduced SKU counts and a robust infrastructure that enhances customer service.”

The newly merged company will be headquartered at PrideSports’ existing offices in Brentwood, TN. Each brand will maintain its respective identity following the merger, with Champ’s PiviX, Zarma and Stinger cleats, as well as Softspikes’ Pulsar, Silver Tornado and Stealth models, all boasting unique attributes to serve individual customer preference. Both brands have won top awards from Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, World Soccer, Soccer America, Baseball America and other key media outlets. Together, MacNeill Pride Group will look to grow upon this legacy.

State-of-the-art, premium cleats and fastening systems from Champ and Softspikes are used by professional and amateur athletes around the world and regularly worn by competitors in the Olympics, World Series, Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, Ryder Cup and other high-profile events. Products are designed for the unique rigors of golf, soccer, baseball, football, track & field and many other sports, with technologies and applications that extend into cycling, fishing, ice sports and industrial segments.