Lids is partnering with three Black sports institutions, including the Harlem Globetrotters.(Photo by Lids)
Lids has entered into a first-ever retail partnership with three iconic sports entities.
The sports retailer is partnering with The Negro Leagues Museum, Black Fives and Harlem Globetrotters. Through the partnership, each property's products will be sold year-round for the first time in more than 700 Lids stores across the United States. The collections, dubbed “They Gave Us Game,” include apparel and accessories. Merchandise will be available in stores starting on Feb. 28.
“Lids is proud to partner with these historical properties that not only changed the course of American history but continue to make an immediate impact in sports today," said Lawrence Berger, chairman at FanzzLids Holdings and partner at Ames Watson, the holding company of Lids. "This initiative is a monumental moment for Lids and these leagues as customers from all over the country will be able to properly support and celebrate these leagues year-round the way it deserves to be."
Products from each collection are inspired by original vintage details previously worn by pioneering African American players from each of the three iconic sports entities, including their uniforms and team logos. The collections are brought to life with the use of premium materials, historical patches and a nod to their extensive history.
Designed for today's consumers, each collection highlights many of the impactful but often previously unknown stories across each realm from decades past. New product collections will be released seasonally moving forward.
"The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is thrilled to team with Lids on this historically significant and fashionable salute to the Negro Leagues," said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. "The Negro Leagues not only changed the game of baseball but more importantly helped change America. This partnership will be instrumental in increasing greater awareness of this powerful story of triumph over adversity."
A portion of all product proceeds from the collections will go towards Lids Foundation, which will be making meaningful donations back to these communities that will help impact youth sports.
“By introducing this first-of-its-kind merchandise in collaboration with Lids, the Globetrotters are continuing to expand our legendary brand, reaching an entirely new, diverse generation of fans through exciting projects and partnerships," said Keith Dawkins, president, Harlem Globetrotters and Herschend Entertainment Studios. "The Lids They Gave Us Game campaign is a perfect opportunity to honor our past while building toward an even more thrilling future."
Added Claude Johnson, founder and executive director of the Black Fives Foundation: “We are proud and honored to partner with Lids in this unprecedented retail initiative toward making a meaningful difference in spreading awareness of the important pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball.”
Lids Sports Group is the largest licensed sports retailer in North America, selling fan and fashion-oriented headwear and apparel across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico through almost 2,000 retail locations. The company operates stores under the Lids, Locker Room by Lids, Fanzz, Yankees Clubhouse Shops, Dodgers Clubhouse, Cardinals Clubhouse, and other nameplates. Lids also has locations within select Macy's department stores nationwide.
In January, Lids opened its largest store to date, a 7,000-sq.-ft. location at the 3 million sq. ft.-plus American Dream in East Rutherford, N.J. The retailer is also expanding internationally, opening its first standalone stores in Europe.
[Read More: Lids expands store footprint with its first stores in Europe]