Starter Is Providing Football Apparel Again, but Not for the NFL
Not to get all "only '90s kids will remember" on you, but, well, those who grew up in the '80s and '90s will likely remember how ubiquitous NFL-branded Starter jackets were. While Starter isn't all over the NFL sidelines like it used to be, the company isn't totally out of the football game.
The good news is that football fans will be able to show their pride with Starter apparel once again. The bad news is that it won't be for the NFL.
Starter struck a deal with G-III Apparel, parent company of GUESS, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, to supply apparel for the eight inaugural Alliance of American Football teams.
We're bringing Starter back to the field...
We are proud to announce The Alliance has partnered with legendary apparel brand @Starter to be the official on-field apparel and game day uniform supplier for all eight Alliance teams. pic.twitter.com/cSDxHOIw8U
— AAF (@TheAAF) July 24, 2018
For those unfamiliar with the AAF, you're not alone.
The AAF is a new professional football league, set to take place immediately after the 2019 Super Bowl. It has eight teams, most of which are located on or south of the 35th parallel—Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego.
The league's overseers include former NFL stars like Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck and former NFL general manager Bill Polian.
"We're proud to bring Starter, an iconic brand with over 35 years of rich sports heritage, back to the football field," Charlie Ebersol, co-founder of the AAF, told CBS Sports. "A pioneer in the space, they were one of the first brands to be on the field and a must-have item for die-hard sports fans across the country. Starter has long been associated with your favorite sports teams, whether through the classic Starter Jacket or throwback uniforms. We look forward to taking our first snap with the instantly recognizable Starter logo emblazoned on our jerseys, as well as on the sidelines."
Should the league be a success, that would be a big get for Starter, and it could mean a comeback to football fandom. But, as we've seen with NFL competitors like the USFL, UFL and XFL (which is trying again in 2020), the NFL is a tough brand to compete with.
But, branding matters. So, if Starter can help boost the teams' popularity, it might be a little more of a draw, especially in cities without an NFL franchise.