|Founder||Nihal Chand Kharbanda|
|Headquarters||Jalandhar, Punjab, India|
(Chairman & Managing Director, 1940 - 2017)
Number of employees
Nivia Sports is an Indian sports equipment manufacturer based in Jalandhar, Punjab, India, under the banner of FreeWill Sports Pvt Ltd. The firm makes athletic equipment such as footwear, apparel, and accessories for football, cricket, hockey, badminton, basketball, and tennis. It has partnered with many national sports events in India.
- 1 History
- 2 Products
- 3 Sponsorships
- 4 Association football
- 5 References
- 6 External links
FreeWill Sports Pvt Ltd was incorporated in 1934 in Sialkot by Nihal Chand Kharbanda. In 1962, Vijay Kharbanda joined his father in business and set up Nivia Sports. The 1947 partition of the country saw the company shift its base from Sialkot to Mumbai, and from Mumbai to Meerut, finally settling in Jalandhar. In 1962, Vijay Kharbanda joined as the Chief Managing Director (CMD) of the company with his father and started manufacturing a full range of leather hand stitched balls for soccer, volleyball, handball, and basketball under Nivia Sports.
The name "Nivia" was derived from the combination of the initials of the name of Nihal Chand Kharbanda, founder of Nivia Sports, and Vijay Kharbanda: "NI" from "Nihal" and "VI" from "Vijay".
Vijay Kharbanda provided priority to local people and talents who were less educated and unemployed. He empowered thousands of people by providing them employment along with encouraging them to improve and develop their skills.
The initiatives of Nivia Sports to shape the sports segment of the world are appreciable. Former President of India, Gyani Zail Singh, awarded the Udhyog Pattar to Vijay Kharbanda, the Managing Director of Nivia Sports, in the 1980s for his outstanding contribution to the sports industry.
Since 1991, Rajesh Kharbanda has been the Managing Director and CEO of Nivia Sports. As a board member of the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry, he initiated, introduced and engaged Nivia Sports with national and international bodies like FIFA, All India Basketball Federation, All India Football Federation, Volleyball Federation of India, and Handball Federation of India. He is an associate member and office bearer at various trade and business associations including the Sports Goods Foundation of India, and the Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
On 18 June 2017, Vijay Kharbanda died. He was 77 years old.
Rajesh Kharbanda as the CMD of Nivia Sports has added extra visions to the industry in terms of production quality, industrial & digital infrastructure, and expansion of factories. He also has provided opportunities to unemployed persons of other states by planning factories there. Not only he empowered other state people but also he stopped the getting migrated to other states for jobs. By these efforts, Nivia footballs are certified as FIFA Pro quality. And these balls have been the official balls for the national and international tournaments including ISL. During April 2019, Nivia Sports signed up an agreement with the Football Federation of Sri Lank and became the football partner for the national team along with other tournaments of Sri Lanka. For the year 2020 & 2021, Nivia is the official ball sponsor for couples of teams which includes Premier League Division I, Premier League Division II, Men's National Team, Women's National Team, and Under 23 National Team.
Nivia Sports produces sports products in India which have been sponsored and used in national and international tournaments, leagues and championships. It includes the categories of sports equipment, apparel, footwear, and accessories.
Nivia Sports is the first Indian sports equipment manufacturer to produce hand stitched balls, including footballs. In the 1950s, under Freewill Sports Pvt Ltd, Nivia Sports started manufacturing hand stitched leather footballs, basketballs, and volleyballs. They had an opportunity to export balls to international markets and exported their first consignment of 30 balls to Indonesia. In the 1960s the Nivia football received the approval of National Institute of Sports, Patiala, Punjab, India. Its football became the official ball for the National Football Championship and for the All India Football Federation (AIFF). In the 1980s, Nivia was selected as the official ball for the International Football Tournament Jawaharlal Nehru Gold Cup and South Asian Federation (SAF) Games. Nivia earned the FIFA certification for the football in the 2000s.
Nivia Antrix football is made from high quality organic and synthetic rubber. The material used for this has been originated from India. Antrix is certified as a 'FIFA Quality PRO' ball by FIFA. This is a hand-stitched football with 32 panels covered by four layers of polyester fabric. The quality and standard of materials and functionality of Antrix is verified by FIFA to include it in the list of FIFA Quality PRO certification. This has been the official match football for Goa Super League 2017. Since the Goa super cup league is known as youth football tournament, this ball is also called as youth football.
Managing director of Nivia Rajesh Kharabanda, and President of Mizoram Football Association Lal Thanzara, have signed an agreement to use Antrix as the Mizoram state football. The Antrix football has also been declared as the official match ball for Mizoram Premier League and other Mizoram football associations' tournaments.
Nivia Ashtang football is also certified as a FIFA Quality PRO match ball. This is another hand-stitched football by Nivia which has passed through quality parameters by FIFA. The fitness of the football was tested at a FIFA-designated laboratory in Switzerland to receive certification. This ball is different from others, as it is made with 23% reduced seam length and contains eight panels instead of 32. Due to having less panels, the ball provides ease of shooting and kicking for players.
Nivia Sports has also produced and sponsored other accessories related to football, such as shoes, team wear, goal keeper gloves, goal nets, training gear, shin guards, ball pumps, and stockings.
With extensive research and technology, Nivia Sports brought a change to the sporting age. In 1960, the University of Leipzig in Germany declared the Nivia volleyball as one of the best in the world. In 1963, the Nivia volleyball was selected to be used as the official ball in the Pre-Olympic Volleyball Championship organised in New Delhi, India by a panel of international referees.
Nivia has also sponsored volleyball accessories like shoes, team wear, antennae, nets and other sportswear and bags.
Nivia makes handmade balls. A basketball starts as a blob of rubber and is squeezed through a machine over and over to flatten it to 0.5 - 1mm. Then it is cut and molded into a round shape. This is the bladder that holds air. The bladder is inflated and woven around with nylon thread. This strengthens the balls and helps them stay round. When the mummy-looking balls get their skins they finally start looking like basketballs. Their rough edges are smoothed and lines are drawn by hand, using one careful stroke at a time. Before the balls are ready for the courts, they are checked for air leaks for 24 hours. A sample goes through a shooting test. The ball is shot at a speed of 25 mph at an iron plate of thickness of 1 inch, 2000 times. Then its diameter is measured in several spots to see if the ball has kept its round shape. Finally, after quality checks, the balls are deflated for dispatching to tournaments. Covering the entire process, every three seconds, Nivia makes one ball. CNNMoney showed the making of basketballs in Nivia's factory at Jalandhar (Punjab), India.
During the 1980s, Nivia Sports started manufacturing sports footwear in India. After being awarded appreciation certificate by the IX Asian Games Organizing Committee for the contribution in the success of the games and for providing support and products, Nivia added all ranges of sports footwear for use in games such as cricket, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, lawn tennis, kabaddi, wrestling, and track & field. They also produced shoelaces and gel insoles.
Sports shoes for sports are as important as other pieces of equipment to play the game. Since 1980, Nivia manufactures sports shoes for national & international tournaments and leagues. Being an official partner, it has been providing high-quality sports shoes for football, basketball, badminton, tennis, squash, track & field, running, cricket, flip flops, kabbadi, wrestling, and boxing.
As per the categories of footballs, Nivia prepares quality shoes to play the game. These are lightweight and flexible with better toe grip. Fitted with Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) sole with a shear strength which provides resistant to splitting, abrasion, oil, and chemicals. Also lasts longer due to highest flexibility. The sole is moisture-wicking, and most widely breathable. The TPU properties of the soles let players to run easily even on hard ground without grass. Shoe insoles are made up of moulded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) material that makes players more comfort during playing the game on the wet ground as well.
The series of shoes includes identical properties as per their categories. It involves , Aviator, Brasil, Crane, Dominator, Ditmar, Destroyer, England, Encounter, Pro Encounter, Germany, Invader, Oslar, Oslar blade, Premier, Premier Carbonite, Premier Cleats, Spain, Tough, and Ultra. The size range starts from 1 to 13 and comfortably gets fitted to all players. 
Nivia Sports produces sports accessories such as kits or bags, tracksuits, shorts, lowers, shocks, and windcheaters for use in cricket, football, basketball, and volleyball. Nivia has sponsored all these products for national and international leagues and tournaments.
Nivia has contributed sports equipment, footwear and accessories including badminton rackets and shuttlecocks, strings, skateboards, skating wheels, squash rackets, and swimming accessories like earplugs, fins, masks, and aqua boards.
- Nivia was an official partner of the 35th National Games Kerala, 2015 for basketball and volleyball.
- Official partner of SingaCup 2014
- NIVIA was the official ball at almost all the Santosh Trophy matches from the 1970s and was used in SAF Games in Kolkata and major IFA tournaments.
- NIVIA was the kit manufacturer of Atlético de Kolkata in the 2015 ISL season.
- Nivia was the apparel partner for Bharat FC.
- Nivia's Antrix football was the official match ball for the Goa Super Cup (GSC) tournament held in Goa in May, 2017.
- Nivia is the official kit sponsor for Indian Super League season 2018-19.
- Nivia is the official kit provider for the Mizoram state football association from 2018.
- Nivia Sports is the international official kit sponsor for Colombo_FC from the year 2019.
Nivia has been supplying official kits for national and international football clubs, tournaments & leagues. Also it has been qualified for official partner for leagues to provide other sports equipment as well.
- Indian Super League
- Assam State Premier League
- BRICS Football Cup
- Mizoram Premier League (2015−)
- Chandigarh Football League
- Delhi Youth League
- Singa Cup
- SAFF Women Championship (Siliguri)
- 2018–19 Sri Lanka Champions League (Official Balls)
- Bharat FC (2014−15)
- Guwahati FC (2015)
- 2014 Lusophony Games
- 2013 SAFF Championship
- 2015 National Games of India
- Subroto Cup
- Indian College Basketball League
- Indian School Basketball League
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- "Sports Partner of 35th National Games Kerala, 2015". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Sports Partner of SingaCup 2014". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Sports Partner SingaCup 2013, 2014,".
- "Messi & Co to play with country (India) made NIVIA balls". Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- "Nivia was the Apparel partner for Bharat FC". Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "Youth football: Goa Super Cup announces Nivia Antrix as official match ball". 6 May 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
- "Mizoram FA to partner with sports kit maker Nivia". 26 May 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.