Las Vegas, NV–BALL’N, a black-owned company with a long history of providing industry-leading basketball uniforms to teams nationwide, recently signed a deal with the NBALAB to sell T-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the NBA team logo’s.
NBALAB is the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) research and development incubator aimed at innovative design, imaginative concepts, and strategic partnerships.
BALL’N Founder and CEO Rodney Jeter has been collaborating with the NBALAB’s team to develop, manufacture and distribute the exclusive T-shirts and Hoodies collection. BALL’N first collection is called BALL’N SINCE. It commemorates all 30 NBA teams’ founding year into the NBA, giving each T-shirt its own unique look. This collection is available now at Fanatics.com, The NBAStore.com and other finer NBA Team Stores.
Black-owned clothing brand partners with NBA
“As a Black-owned brand, we are very excited to be working with the NBALAB. The NBALAB is a leader in creative expression and business opportunity for many small entrepreneurial companies,” said BALL’N Founder and CEO Rodney Jeter. “Our goal is to reflect the passion and emotion of the NBA through our BALL’N themed street flavor T-shirts and Hoodies.’
“The name BALL’N is inherited from the street culture. That’s where we grew up,” said Dallas Stokes, BALL’N Creative Director and partner. “Our ubiquitous name defines the highest and ultimate skill level on and off the court.”
The collaboration between BALL’N, NBALAB and the NBA has been in the works since the start of the pandemic and just recently received the green light to proceed. BALL’N is among only a handful of black-owned licensees with the NBALAB and looks forward to a long, successful collaboration.
From the streets to the NBA
BALL’N is an athletic lifestyle brand that creates quality products with a goal of connecting a global community through sports. The eye-catching gear, which has primarily targeted basketball enthusiasts, got its start in the early 90’s on the streets of Chicago. Jeter, after returning home from his four-year military service in the U.S. Army was looking for industry contacts to help him launch his brand.
He read an article on how NBA All-Star Magic Johnson–while still playing for the Los Angeles Lakers–was launching his NBA Licensed T-Shirts called “Magic Johnson Tees.” So Jeter reached out to Magic and sent him a package containing BALL’N samples and a letter outlining his vision for the BALL’N brand.
Five months later Jeter surprisingly received a call from Magic while he was in town playing the Chicago Bulls in the 1990 NBA Finals.
“I was totally surprised and caught off guard by Magic’s call.” Jeter said. “Many family and friends never believed Magic would reach back out to me and I was starting to believe the same.”
NBA stars support Black-owned Brand, BALL’N
During the call Magic invited Jeter to attend Game 2 of the 1990 NBA Finals and after the game Jeter spoke with Magic and Lon Rosen (Magic’s longtime business manager).
Both were impressed with the BALL’N sample line and the vision Jeter had for the brand. Magic and Lon assisted Jeter with gaining some key industry contacts and they also wrote a key reference letter that helped Jeter secure the basketball uniform contract for the annual summertime Scottie Pippen/Push Excel Basketball Classic. All the top NBA players participated annually in Pippen’s big summertime classic which was held for charity in Chicago.
In 2010 BALL’N partnered with former NBA All-Star and Los Angeles Lakers NBA Champion Metta Sandiford Artest (formerly known as Ron Attest and Metta World Peace) to launch its footwear line. Artest is still a partner in the brand and his Artest Management Group will play a key role in the growth of company.
To celebrate the release of the BALL’N NBALAB collection and the beginning of the upcoming NBA season, BALL’N is running a 30 Pack BALL’N NBA T-shirt Giveaway. One lucky person will win a BALL’N NBA T-shirt 30 Pack. The 30 Pack consist of all 30 BALL’N SINCE NBA Teams T-Shirts. You can enter by going to BALL’N Instagram account @ballnbasketball for information on how to enter and win.