In 1963, a small leather factory in the town of Goch in Germany’s Lower Rhine region manufacturing saddles, gaiters and other leather items decided to start producing balls as well. A name was needed and it should reflect the company’s origins as well as the qualitative requirements with regard to the new product. And so the name DERBYSTAR came about in reference to equestrian sports (derby) and quality (star). In December 1968, the ball department was completely outsourced and the independent company DERBYSTAR founded.
From the beginning, the company specialized in the production of high-quality hand-stitched sports balls. The aim was to produce an excellent tool for handball and football players and to continuously develop its quality. At the end of the 1970s, DERBYSTAR was one of the first to use synthetic materials instead of the famous leather. At the time, this decision was considered a revolution. Today, such materials are also used by competitors from Herzogenaurach and Oregon.
At the beginning of the 1970s, production was gradually transferred to Hungary before a first contact was established with Pakistan in 1976. Due to the good results, the capacities in Pakistan were expanded and the production in Hungary was discontinued in 1983. Only the top model was still produced back home in Goch and sewn in the Eifel region. At the end of the 1980s, this was discontinued as well and the complete production was relocated to Pakistan, where 2,000-2,500 balls are sewn by hand every day.
DERBYSTAR BALLS ARE NOT ONLY ROUND, THEY ALSO HAVE A LIFE
Because of their quality, DERBYSTAR products played an important role in Germany’s Bundesliga from the very beginning. In the company’s first year, German football club MSV Duisburg put its trust in the company’s quality balls. Shortly thereafter, the famous “Fohlen”, i.e. the German football club Borussia Mönchengladbach, played with DERBYSTAR balls as well. In the 1979/80 season, DERBYSTAR balls were used on all football fields of Germany’s Bundesliga for flanking, heading and shooting. As the great former champion Hennes Weisweiler used to put it: “DERBYSTAR balls are not only round, they also have a life.”
Well-known professional clubs in Germany and abroad are still playing with quality balls by DERBYSTAR. All amateur and junior teams of renowned clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, VfL Bochum or Hannover 96 play with DERBYSTAR balls. Since the 2006/07 season, the DERBYSTAR Brillant APS has been the official match ball of the 1st Dutch league (Eredivisie).
In 2012, DERBYSTAR reached a historic figure: For the first time in the company’s long history it managed to sell more than 1 million balls in one year. The same year, DERBYSTAR’s iBall technology was recognized by FIFA as goal-line technology. In 2014, DERBYSTAR took over the German-wide distribution of SELECT products. From then on, DERBYSTAR specialized in footballs and retired from the handball segment under its own name. Products of the partner company SELECT are now offered for the handball segment.
OUR ENGAGEMENT GOES BEYOND THE FIELD
A special proof of the quality of our products is our social commitment. DERBYSTAR has been a Fairtrade license partner since 2005, and it was the only renowned ball manufacturer to become a partner back then. Within this context, the production facility in Pakistan was certified and approved by FLO (Fairtrade Labour Organisation). In recent years, DERBYSTAR has also continuously and purposefully expanded its product range. In addition to balls of all kinds, the company now also offers team clothing, goalkeeper gloves, shin guards, ball accessories and sports bandages.