Champion (sportswear)

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Founded1930 Edit this on Wikidata
United States
Number of locations
28 stores (2018)[1]
Area served

Champion (or alternatively also stylized as Champion U.S.A.) is an American manufacturer of clothing, specializing in sportswear. The brand is a subsidiary of Hanesbrands (based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina), which was spun off by the Sara Lee Corporation in 2006. The company was originally based in Rochester, New York, prior to its acquisition by Sara Lee in 1989.[2]

"Champion" is HanesBrands' second-largest brand with the namesake Hanes brand in first place. Other brands owned by HanesBrands Inc. are Playtex (its third-largest brand), Bali, Just My Size, Barely There, Wonderbra, L'eggs, C9 by Champion, Duofold, Beefy-T, Outer Banks, Sol y Oro, Rinbros, Zorba and Ritmo.


The company was established in 1919 by the Feinbloom brothers [3] as "Knickerbocker Knitting Company." The company soon signed an agreement with the Michigan Wolverines to produce uniforms for their teams. In the 1930s the company was renamed "Champion Knitting Mills Inc.", producing sweatshirts. Soon after, Champion products would be adopted by the US Military Academy to be used during training exercises and physical education classes.[4]

Champion was acquired by Sara Lee Corporation in 1989.[5] Champion produced uniforms for all the NBA teams during the 1990s and some NFL teams during the 1970s to the 1990s, for both on-field and retail purposes. It has also produced sportswear for many major colleges.[6] Champion was also the kit manufacturer of the Olympic basketball team that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics.[4]

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s it was a very common fashion trend to see girls and guys of all ages wearing champion sweatshirts over a turtleneck and over jeans with slouch socks and sneakers. And girls of all ages and adults also wore the sweatshirts oversized or extra-long with leggings and slouch socks and athletic sneakers, Keds or boat shoes.

From 2008, Champion produced kits for Premier League side, Wigan Athletic, the Wales national football team and the jersey of the Greek basketball team,[7] also Pallacanestro Cantù, in Italy.

For many years Champion supplied the athletic uniforms for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In 2001 Notre Dame signed a five-year exclusive agreement with Adidas, which ended a partnership Champion had with the university that spanned over 50 years.[8]


Champion has manufactured and provided kit uniforms for the following teams and associations:

Current sponsorships[edit]

National teams[edit]
Club teams[edit]


Past sponsorships[edit]

American/Canadian football[edit]



Merchandising licensed manufacturer[edit]

The following is a list of the products made by the company in the licensed sports business:

Replica jerseys[edit]

  • Canada United States NBA – all teams (1990–2002)
  • United States NFL – all teams (1980s–2000)
  • United States XFL – all teams (2001)


  1. ^ "Champion stores in the United States". Hanesbrands. 2018. Retrieved 17 Jan 2020.[self-published source]
  2. ^ Key, Janet (14 February 1989). "Sara Lee Adds Champion Sportswear To Wardrobe". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 Jan 2020.
  3. ^ "The History of Champion". The Idle Man (Blog). 13 November 2018. Retrieved 17 Jan 2020.
  4. ^ a b About us on Champion-eu website
  5. ^
  6. ^ JARochNY (2010-10-21), Abraham and William Feinbloom, Champion Products, Inc., retrieved 2018-06-05
  7. ^ Champion presents the new Greek national basketball team jersey Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Dame, ENR/PAZ // University Communications: Web // University of Notre. "Adidas allegiance // News // Notre Dame Magazine // University of Notre Dame". Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  9. ^ FIBA global partners, retrieved 31 Aug 2014
  10. ^ Cyprus Basketball Federation,, Retrieved 1 October 2015. (in Greek)

External links[edit]