Spalding® Named Official Ball of Five Sports for the NJCAA
BOWLING GREEN, KY – The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has announced Spalding®, a division of Russell Brands, LLC (“Spalding”), and the world’s largest basketball equipment supplier and one of the most iconic sports brands in the world, as the official ball for five of its premier sports starting July 2013.
The five-year partnership names Spalding® as the ‘Official Ball’ of NJCAA baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football. In addition, Spalding’s softball brand – Dudley® – will stay on as the official ball of NJCAA softball.
“By partnering with Spalding, we are ensuring our member colleges and their student-athletes are playing with the best on-field equipment and reinforcing our goal of promoting two-year college athletics on a national level,” said Mary Ellen Leicht, Executive Director of the NJCAA. “With nearly 60,000 student-athletes competing in the NJCAA, this partnership is a great step forward for our membership.”
The NJCAA is one of the largest intercollegiate sports organizations in the United States, second only to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The equipment provided by Spalding is manufactured with premium leather or composite materials developed for improved on-field performance in each sport. The TF-SB1 football, for example, is constructed of exclusive Horween “S” tack leather for improved grip and “spiral balance” technology for increased passing accuracy.
This partnership allows us to provide the NJCAA’s talented student-athletes with the best equipment possible, while strengthening our presence in collegiate athletics,” said Paul Sullivan, VP Sales and Marketing for Spalding.
Under the terms of the agreement, Spalding and Dudley will be the “Official Ball” of NJCAA baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football and softball until June 2018. In a unique aspect of the agreement, member institutions will be able to order equipment directly on the NJCAA website while continuing to maintain their business relationship with their local team dealers.
Spalding® in the Collegiate Market
Baseball – Spalding’s roots trace back to baseball. As America’s First Baseball Company®, Spalding made the official ball of the National League for 100 years. Currently, Spalding is the official baseball of Coastal Carolina University (NCAA Div. I), the Southwestern Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. II) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. II).
Basketball - Spalding designed the first basketball for the game's inventor, Dr. James Naismith. Spalding® has been the official basketball of the NBA for nearly 30 years. In addition to being the official basketball of the WNBA, Spalding® is the official tournament basketball of the Atlantic Coast Conference (NCAA Div. I) and the Big 10 Conference (NCAA Div. I).
Football – Spalding® is currently the official football of the Arena Football League (AFL) – a distinction held since 2004. In the collegiate market, Spalding® is the official football the Southwestern Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (NCAA Div. I), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Div. II) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Div. II).
Softball – Dudley has been a great partner for NJCAA softball for over four decades. Dudley® has been the official softball of the NJCAA since 1983.
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