Russell Athletic (brand)
|Headquarters||Bowling Green, KY, USA|
|Area served||North America, Europe|
|Parent||Russell Brands, LLC.|
Russell Athletic is the main brand of the Russell Brands, LLC.. Founded in 1902, the company produces uniforms for a wide range of sports, such as American football, basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball. Having supplied jersey uniforms and apparel for many teams within the United States in the past, Russell is currently focused in Universities and minor leagues.
The company was founded by Benjamin Russell in 1902. The original mill produced women's undershirts and children's undergarments. The mills beginning capacity was 150 garments daily. During the 1910s, Russell Manufacturing Co. become an established business. By 1925 long underwear, sweaters, athletic shirts and women's bloomers were added to the production of women's vests, making a more complete product line.
1932 saw how Russell acquired Southern Manufacturing Company, which gave the company access to athletic team apparel. This was the beginning of the Russell Athletic division's cutting and sewing operations. Later in 1938, Russell began making woven athletic garments, including basketball, baseball and football pants and jackets.
In 1941, founder Benjamin Russell died on the 16th of December and the reins of the company were passed to his son Benjamin C. Russell. During World War II, Russell's 'Athletic' Division sold primarily to the military. Shirts, drawers, t-shirts, athletic garments and special outer garments were made for the Army and Navy. Benjamin C. Russell died in 1945 and was succeeded as president by his brother, Thomas D. Russell. After the War, the company embarked on further expansion and development throughout its knitting, weaving, dyeing, finishing and cutting departments.
During the 1960s, the 'Athletic' division was the largest marketer and manufacturer of athletic apparel and uniforms in the country. In 1962, Russell Manufacturing Company's name was changed to Russell Mills, Inc. In 1973, Russell Mills' name was changed to "Russell Corporation", and the company expanded manufacturing across the Southern USA, also to Latin America and Scotland.
In 1992, Russell Athletic dealt a five-year contract to serve as the exclusive producer and marketer of athletic uniforms for most Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. The contract also stipulated that the company held the exclusive right to manufacture and market replicas of major league uniforms, T-shirts, and shorts.
A new beginning
On April 17, 2006, Berkshire Hathaway agreed to purchase 100% of Russell. Finally on August 1, 2006, Russell shareholders approved the sale of their firm to Berkshire Hathaway for $18.00 per share in cash. The acquisition was successfully completed on the following day. Russell's brands joined Fruit of the Loom in the Berkshire Hathaway family of products.
On October, 2010, Russell Athletic signed with the famous team and entertainment show The Harlem Globetrotters to provide them official uniforms, practice and travel gear. The deal was to run through the end of 2013.
- Little League Baseball - all teams
- MTV Simtek-Ford (1994-95)
- Company profile - Russell website
- Russell Corporation history in "Reference for Business" website
- Russell signs a deal with the Globetrotters Businesswire.com
- "Russell Athletic to dress world-famous Harlem Globetrotters", SportsPro.com, 22 October 2010
- Russell sponsorships in the 90s - European site
- Russell History in Reference for Business website