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LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden among NBA All-Stars joining Mitchell & Ness ownership group — Andscape

After earlier this year acquiring the nostalgia athletic apparel brand Mitchell & Ness, most known for making professional league throwback jerseys, Fanatics founder Michael Rubin announced today an expanded Mitchell & Ness ownership group of sports figures that includes LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, CJ McCollum, Devin Booker, James Harden, Joel Embiid and Odell Beckham Jr.

Executives and entertainers, including Rich Paul, Rich Kleiman, Kevin Hart, Scooter Braun, and Steve Stoute, were also included in the strategic investment group that originally counted Jay-Z, Maverick Carter, Meek Mill, the D’Amelio family, and Lil Baby among its initial investors.

Mitchell & Ness has become the go-to throwback apparel provider for NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, and various NCAA schools.

Mitchell & Ness

Originally founded in 1904 in Philadelphia by Frank Mitchell and Charles Ness, the company produced uniforms for local football and baseball teams and eventually expanded during the century to manufacture jerseys for their local Philadelphia Eagles, along with several NFL and MLB franchises during the 1940s.

During the late 1990s and into the new millennium, its throwback jersey business exploded, thanks partly to an Allen Iverson cover of SLAM Magazine that debuted during the NBA lockout in 1998. After enjoying sales of around $1.5 million prior to Iverson appearing in a customized royal blue 76ers jersey, the company grew to more than $23 million in revenue by 2002.

Ever since, Mitchell & Ness throwback jerseys became a staple in music videos and appearances during the 2000s, with the brand extending into luxury-leaning authentic shorts and snakeskin-billed team hats during the 2010s with designer Don C.

After signing with the Lakers in 2018, LeBron James (right) appeared at NBA Summer League in Don C-designed Mitchell & Ness Lakers shorts.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The new Mitchell & Ness ownership group represents yet another chapter of growth for the company, as several of the key figures that helped to define and validate the brand during the early 2000s are now both investing in and helping to shape the direction of the company.

Going forward, Mitchell & Ness holds NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, and various NCAA school licenses to manufacture throwback uniforms and branded lifestyle apparel. Within the Fanatics orbit of businesses in the athletic space, the overall company now features an ecosystem of licensed fan apparel, authenticated memorabilia, an emerging sports betting silo and trading cards through its acquisition of Topps.

Nick DePaula is a footwear industry and lifestyle writer at Andscape. The Sacramento, California, native has been based in Portland, Oregon, for the last decade, a main hub of sneaker company headquarters. He’ll often argue that How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days is actually an underrated movie, largely because it’s the only time his Sacramento Kings have made the NBA Finals.

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