Ellesse Heritage was founded in 1959 in Umbria, Italy. The name Ellesse derives from the founder's initials, "L.S". Ellesse had a reputation for skiwear and tennis wear in the '70s, and the logo references the design of a tennis ball. Through the '80s, Ellesse developed its popularity for both sportswear and street wear, and is one of the first brands to feature the logo prominently on the outside of a garment. The brand also became popular with the UK '80s casuals. Most of their sponsorships have been of tennis players, such as Boris Becker, Chris Evert, and Mats Wilander, as well as many others. They also ventured into football sponsorship, sponsoring the New York Cosmos in the '80s.