The NBA knew many specific accessories (there is even a separate text about this on the site ). Glasses, masks, compression sleeves, intricate variations of bandages and other necessary attributes of their time, over the years, migrated to the rank of kitsch. And yet, those who started watching the NBA in the late 90s and early 2000s, I am sure, cannot imagine the league without baggy riveted warm-up pants. The very ones that, with a slight movement of the hand, not only turned into shorts, but completely flew to the floor, leaving the player in a sports T-shirt and shorts.
The gesture itself looked impressive, and the piece of clothing was so well established within its era that it was in demand everywhere. Adidas tearaway pants were flaunted by musicians, actors, movie characters.
It is for this reason that it is believed that Adidas once again successfully appropriated the experience of mixing street culture and sports fashion with the example of tearaway pants. Except, the unbuttoned pants had been in the NBA a decade earlier, and they weren’t Adidas at all.
The German monopolist famously beat the concept in the 2000s, but in the NBA it was introduced by an American company that was accused of plagiarism
Especially often – that they copy Converse. And this is strange, because the Knickerbocker Knitting Company, formed in 1919, did not produce shoes at all. Her specification was sweatshirts, hoodies, shorts, pants and other sportswear.
The company has only a few things in common with Converse.
Just like Chuck Taylor, the marketers of the Knickerbocker Knitting Company quickly realized that they needed to look for their audience not at fairs and in stores, but in educational institutions. Therefore, by 1930, the Knickerbocker Knitting Company entered into a sponsorship contract with the University of Michigan basketball team, the Michigan Wolverines. The one that, years later, will give us all the famous Fab Five and acquire one of the most prestigious and effective training programs for young players for the NBA (the last of these is Warriors guard Jordan Poole).
The name Knickerbocker Knitting Company sounded too long and obliging (especially in a basketball context), so the company was renamed Champion.
The second factor that Champion is often accused of mimicking Converse is their collaboration with the US military.
While Converse supplied sneakers to recruits, Champion supplied the army with clothing that soldiers wore to training camps and training camps. They occupied their niche and for quite a long time did not dare to enter a large and competitive market.
That’s why it was quite unexpected when, in early 1990, it was announced the signing of a sponsorship agreement with the NBA. After many said that this became possible thanks to a preliminary agreement with the US Basketball Federation of Basketball. In other words, first Champion agreed with the federation, and only then the parties began to discuss the possibility of sponsoring the NBA.
One way or another, but since 1990, NBA clubs began to play in Champion products, and two years later all fans of the American Dream Team fought for it at the Barcelona Olympics.
In the NBA, unbuttoning pants came from tracking and instantly gave several historical moments.
Champion products were designed not only for team sports. The idea of unzipping pants came to the designers when it became clear that it was inconvenient for sprinters to take off their warm-up gear right before the start. Ordinary pants clung to the boots, the athletes were looking for a place to change, were nervous and said hurtful words to the manufacturer. Some, more enterprising, cut off the bottom of each of the legs ahead of time to save themselves unnecessary problems. So, we can say that the idea was thrown to the creators by the consumers themselves.a
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