Champion replaces First Ever as NBL apparel partner
Last week, the NBL announced the return of Champion as the league’s new official on-court player apparel partner, replacing the Larry Kestelman owned First Ever.
Under a new three-year agreement, Champion will not only design brand new team jerseys for the 2020/2021 NBL Season, they will also provide a range of NBL club streetwear that fans can get their hands on.
Champion is no stranger to the basketball court, having produced the on-court NBA jerseys during the 1990s and into the 2000s.
“Australia’s passion for basketball is growing rapidly and our partnership with NBL is an exciting one,” shared David Bortolussi, Group President, HanesBrands (Champion). “Champion is passionate about supporting athletes to achieve their potential, from the elite level in the NBL to grassroots, we encourage everyone to ‘Be your own Champion’.
“We’ve been producing Authentic American Athletic Wear since 1919 and we look forward to bringing our sport capability to the on-court apparel range for players and developing street wear for fans to enjoy.”
NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman was also excited by the new partnership as he looks to continue overseeing the growth of the league.
“We are thrilled to welcome Champion into the NBL family during a very exciting time for the sport. There’s never been a better time to join the NBL. With record attendances, a growing global audience and an incredible quality of basketball, I firmly believe the NBL is now the best league in the world outside of the NBA.
“Champion is an iconic brand and we look forward to working with them and creating something special for players and fans.
“We would also like to thank Justin Kestelman and his team at First Ever for creating an amazing apparel program and growing the category to a level that a brand like Champion is partnering with the NBL.”
Bankrolled by NBL owner Larry Kestelman and run by his son Justin, First Ever was launched in February 2018 and immediately announced as the official apparel provider to the NBL from the 2018-19 season onward.
While Champion will replace First Ever as the official on-court player apparel provider, the league office advised The Pick and Roll that First Ever will remain a licensee of the NBL and will continue to produce fan wear. However with Justin Kestelman departing as First Ever CEO last month, what role the sports apparel manufacturer plays in relation to the NBL moving forward remains uncertain.