Brand Guide: Champion
Champion began in 1919, by three members of the Feinbloom family, who all shared a vision of creating new and exciting sportswear in Rochester, New York. Originally, named, Knickerbocker Knitting company, the Feinbloom family could never have imagined what the next 100 years would entail!
In 1926, after developing sweaters and sportswear lines, Champion partnered with Wentworth Military Academy. This was the first of many teams Champion supported in their long history (but don’t worry there will be more on that later).
During the 1930s, the brand renamed itself to Champion Knitting Mills, which later became the Champion brand, as we know and love it today!
Champion produced the first University apparel for the University of Michigan during 1934, starting with their first ever hooded sweatshirt, or “hoodie”. Did you know that the range of hoodies was designed to keep athletes warm between games and during practice?
In the 1950s Champion decided to address the low fitness of American children, by pioneering modern PE uniforms that went on to become the standard for decades.
What does every great brand need? A familiar logo! In 1956, the familiar ‘C’ that we associate today, as the well renowned Champion logo, appeared for the first time. It was fixed to the left sleeve of the Champion hoodie, and that is where it has remained to this day.
Champion revolutionised the female athletics market from 1968 onwards, by introducing stylish, mix-and-match physical education uniforms. Champion continued their commitment to female sports through the years and even made history by creating innovative products to serve female athletes, and rather famously pioneered the sports bra.
Alright then, back to the sports teams! Champion was the official outfitter of all 27 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) teams between 1990-1997, and to add to that, they were the official kit manufacturer of the 1992 USA Olympic basketball team. NBA champion Glen Rice famously set a career high of 56 points in one game wearing Champion shoes... very impressive.
Relaunch, Icon and High Street
To mark the 60th anniversary of the year when Champion released the Reverse Weave Sweatshirt, Champion relaunched the product across Europe in 2012. After building the brand for nearly 100 years, Champion stamped down its mark as a premium player in the sports and fashion industry, by opening its first European store in London's world-renowned Soho district.
During 2017 the Champion Hoodie reached iconic status, as the reverse weave hoodie was displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, and in 2018 it became a permanent feature of the ‘Is fashion modern?’ collection!
Thanks to the 90s revival of the last few years, Champion has recently made a comeback after its decline in the early 2000s. When the brand noticed the subtle rise in popularity for their retro products it capitalised on the action, venturing on a series of huge collaborations, such as with Supreme in 2010.
100 Years for the Team
To celebrate Champion’s 100-year history they launched the ‘100 years for the team’ social media campaign. Led by 1992 gold-medal wearing basketballer, Magic Johnson, teams who were inspired simply needed to use the #Champion100 on their social media posts and have the opportunity to receive limited-edition products, or be spotlighted on Champion’s web store and social media channels.
Champion T-shirts come in a large variety of styles, long and short-sleeved in both plain and printed designs, as well as heritage inspired T-shirts which will build up any outfit.
Champion possess a range of joggers for all purposes, whether you’re off to the gym or into town, from classic styles to slim fits, there will be a pair of joggers to suit your needs.
Originally designed for warm-ups or in between games, Champion hoodies are the perfect option for achieving the casual look.
Double up on the Champion look with their tracksuit. Whether you’re looking for colour block designs or logo tape detailing, these track jackets and trouser combos always look great!
Champion features a huge range of hats, from beanies to keep you warm on those winter walks, to baseball caps to cover up those bad hair days, all with the iconic Champion logo on display.
Check out the latest range of Champion products now at MandM Direct and get the ultimate range of stylish products for unmissable prices!