LeBron James, Kevin Durant and James Harden Among NBA All-Stars Join Mitchell & Ness Ownership Group — Andscape
After acquiring nostalgic sportswear brand Mitchell & Ness earlier this year, best known for making professional league jerseys, Fanatics founder Michael Rubin today announced an expanded group of sports personality owners. Mitchell & Ness which includes LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, CJ McCollum, Devin Booker, James Harden, Joel Embiid and Odell Beckham Jr.
Executives and artists including Rich Paul, Rich Kleiman, Kevin Hart, Scooter Braun and Steve Stoute were also included in the strategic investment group which originally included Jay-Z, Maverick Carter, Meek Mill, the D’Amelio family and Lil Baby among its first investors.
Originally founded in 1904 in Philadelphia by Frank Mitchell and Charles Ness, the company produced uniforms for local football and baseball teams and grew over the century to eventually manufacture jerseys for their Philadelphia Eagles local, as well as several NFL and MLB franchises in the 1940s.
In the late 1990s and early new millennium, its throwback jersey business exploded, thanks in part to a cover of Allen Iverson of SLAM magazine that debuted during the 1998 NBA lockout. After making sales of around $1.5 million before Iverson appeared in a custom royal blue 76ers jersey that read “PHILA” on the front, the company hit more than $23 million. income in 2002.
Since then, Mitchell & Ness’ retro jerseys have become a staple of music videos and appearances in the 2000s, with the brand expanding into deluxe authentic shorts and snakeskin team hats in the 2010s with the designer Don C.
Over the past decade, NBA teams have routinely incorporated throwback jerseys into their uniform rotations during the regular season and playoffs.
The new Mitchell & Ness ownership group represents a new chapter of growth for the company, as several of the key figures who helped define and validate the brand in the early 2000s are now investing in the direction of the company and help shape it.
Going forward, Mitchell & Ness holds NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS and various NCAA schools licenses to manufacture retro uniforms and branded lifestyle apparel. In the Fanatics orbit of companies in the sports space, the company as a whole now offers an ecosystem of licensed fan apparel, authenticated memorabilia, an emerging sports betting silo and trading cards through its acquisition of Topps. .