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Synonymous with college athletics and the minor leagues of professional sports, Russell Athletic is an apparel company that’s proved its longevity by delivering a reliable product for over 100 years.

Established in 1902 by Benjamin Russell as a women’s undershirts and children’s undergarments brand, Russell Manufacturing Co. branched into the athletic apparel realm 30 years later after buying Southern Manufacturing Company. The acquisition gave Russell access to team apparel and in 1938, gave way to the debut of the company’s first gameday threads for basketball and baseball.

Over the next several decades, Russell developed a niche in its “Athletic” division and became one of the largest sports apparel manufacturers in the country. In the 1970s, Russell Athletic perhaps became most famous for its “tear-away” jerseys used in the NFL. It was an invention running backs loved and linebackers hated.

Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational conglomerate owned by Warren Buffet, purchased Russell in full on April 17, 2006.

Russell Athletic is the current official apparel supplier of the Harlem Globetrotters and Little League Baseball. During the 1990s, the company had a footprint in the NFL, outfitting several franchises. From 1992-97, Russell Athletic supplied uniforms for every team in the MLB ranks.

In October 2012, Russell Athletic announced a partnership with NFL standouts Pierre Garcon and Mark Ingram and entered the second year of its ‘Together We R’ marketing campaign. According to executive vice president Gary Barfield, Russell Athletic has “always believed in the power of the team.” Branded commercials and other media spots will continue to air throughout the football season on both local and cable television sports networks.

Keeping up with innovative designs from its competitors, Russell Athletic revealed its MSC (Maximum Strength Compression) line in January 2013, a high-stretch, high-strength component woven into uniforms. All of Russell Athletic-sponsored teams will be donning the new technology this fall on the gridiron including Samford, Southern Miss., Western Kentucky and Ohio.

Russell Athletic’s uniform reign ended during the late 1990s, early 2000s when Nike and Adidas pushed others out of the way. In recent years, Under Armour has joined the on-field apparel mix at various universities.

Russell Brands LLC is a Fruit of the Loom company based in Bowling Green, Kentucky and remains one of the nation’s leading suppliers of gameday threads at the prep, college and professional level.