What Nickname Is Stamped On Every Official NFL Football?

Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Alex PT

The nickname stamped on every official NFL football is “The Duke”. It is named after Wellington Mara, the longtime owner of the New York Giants. Mara was known for his humility and his dedication to the game of football.

About The Nickname Stamped On The Football

The official game ball used in the NFL has its nickname which is “The Duke”. This has been mentioned before. The Nickname was derived from the nickname of the former and popular president of the New York Giants Wellington Mara. He was part of the tram in 1925 and although he left the team before he died, he was officially dead in 2005 aged 89. 

Wellington Mara got this nickname from the players of the team, all his teammates liked calling him by his nickname, and that way it started to catch on. Although they just didn’t decide to start calling him Duke, they got the name from a name his father used to call him, the Duke of Wellington. This was too long to become a catchy nickname so the teammates called him ‘the Duke’. Tim Mara who was Wellington’s father was the one who made the movement of signing the partnership deal with Wilson Sporting Goods a successful one. The partnership made Wilson Sporting Goods the major supplier of all NFL official football. 

Because of the steps he took to make the deal possible, they made stamps that honored him, all of this stopped after the merger in 1970. They continued stamping on the official NFL balls after Mara died in 2005. Mara died from lymphoma and it hit everyone who had a connection to football because he was a legend to them. After his death, it was agreed that he would be honored by getting his nickname stamped on all their official footballs. And since then, ‘the Duke’ has been stamped on every official ball. 

Mara Family Football Story

Tim Mara who made the first investment in the New York Giants of 500 dollars in 1925 also became the owner and president of the club. Five years later, he shared the company shares evenly amongst his two sons Wellington and Jack. Wellington was only 14 years old at the time and eventually, he grew up to attend Fordham University. As the years went by, he became a graduate of the school and after graduation, he was given an office to work with the New York Giants. He was given the honor of working as the treasurer of the team affairs. 

His first impressive impression was when he was able to draft out a business plan and secure a signed contract with Tuffy Leemans who was on the hall of fame future list at the time. He did this while he was still in the university so this made his father proud. After all his intelligent strategies that have helped the club move forward, he got promoted to become the secretary of the club. Although he had a break in work due to his participation in world war II from 1943 to 1946. He returned to the club immediately after he was done with the war. He got back to the office and after 19 years, his brother Jack Mara died in 1965 which now resulted in him becoming the president of their club as he was the Vice President before the loss of his brother. As he was put into office as the president of the club, he was in charge of everything concerning the team until he over to the chief executive Andy Robustelli in 1974. 

Wellington Mara’s Legacy 

The New York Giants had an exclusive winning period while they were being directed by the Wellington Mara. He leads them to win six NFL championships la and two super bowls. As far as the history of franchises goes, no team has been able to beat the New York Giants based on their winnings at the time. Mara didn’t just stop leading the club, he also went on with his leadership skills and got elected as the National Football Conference President from 1948 until he was late. He is also one of those who work on reorganization and planning for the long term. Wellington Mara was also given a position on the NFL Management Council. 

He was also one of those who organized the Hall of fame in Canton, Ohio because that was his father’s first honorary appearance there. This was in 1963, later on, he also appeared in the Hall of fame with his father. His legacy was one that couldn’t be compared with any other one. He also continued his legacy by joining the force to ensure the unity of the NFL and AFL in 1966. Ever since this movement became a success, the merger came to place, and then the Super Bowl was born. No one could say otherwise because everyone would agree with us when we say Mara was someone who has made great contributions to making the NFL successful. 

What Makes The Duke Stamped NFL Ball A Special Ball?

“The Duke” NFL game ball is special for several reasons:

  1. Historical Significance: It is named after Wellington Mara, a beloved owner of the New York Giants and a highly influential figure in the NFL’s history. The nickname “The Duke” was derived from Wellington Mara’s childhood nickname.
  2. Quality and Craftsmanship: Wilson Sporting Goods, the official supplier of NFL footballs, meticulously crafts “The Duke.” It’s made with high-quality materials and precise workmanship to meet NFL standards.
  3. Consistency: “The Duke” is known for its consistent and reliable performance, which is crucial in a league where precision and accuracy are paramount.
  4. Tradition: “The Duke” has been the official game ball of the NFL for decades, carrying on a tradition and symbolizing the league’s history.
  5. Awards: Wilson Sporting Goods presents a gold-embossed “The Duke” football to each Super Bowl champion, adding to its prestige and significance.
  6. Handling: Players appreciate the grip and feel of “The Duke,” which is designed for optimal performance in various weather conditions.
  7. Collectibility: “The Duke” footballs are highly sought after by collectors and fans, making them an iconic piece of NFL memorabilia.


Well, some could say that he made a plan to be honored when he made that deal with Wilson Goods but you should see now that he deserved all of it. We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good resources in your quest to know the nickname of every NFL official football. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks.



Leave a Comment