johnnysama

Do You Remember Champion Athletic?

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, Lenny Dykstra said:

1998 Bengals were the last NFL holdouts of the Champion brand.

 

spikes_takeo_kg.jpg

 

What's odd is that the "5" doesn't seem to be the true Champion 5 - it's squared off inside the bottom part of the 5, rather than having the diagonal notches in the corner.

 

I don't think there was ever any champion jerseys that used twill numbers - or if there were, there's weren't any champion jerseys with twill numbers that used the champion font.  Ever team I can think of that switched from screened to twill also changed to a more traditional block font.   It's kinda hard to find good photos from before/after the font switch, but here's a guy that is wearing both of the tell tale numbers.  I think his "after" pic might be in a Reebok jersey though - I'm not sure what they were weraing in 1997 when they actually switched.

 

 

 

  

4021-3578821Bk.jpg4021-3578821Fr.jpg DEeOZraXsAAg3as.jpg:large

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

I don't think there was ever any champion jerseys that used twill numbers - or if there were, there's weren't any champion jerseys with twill numbers that used the champion font.  Ever team I can think of that switched from screened to twill also changed to a more traditional block font.   It's kinda hard to find good photos from before/after the font switch, but here's a guy that is wearing both of the tell tale numbers.  I think his "after" pic might be in a Reebok jersey though - I'm not sure what they were weraing in 1997 when they actually switched.

 

 

 

  

 

 

The New York Jets did in 1995-96 (Rick Kotite era), Cincinnati Bengals in 1998, and New Orleans Saints as their 75th year throwbacks in 1994, and I also believe in 96 when they overhauled their look that year and used twill numerals during their final year with Champion (they went to Reebok the folllowing year). Those are a few that used twill numerals, there could be more teams as well.  I don't recall any college football teams using twill numerals but a few college hoops teams did.  Obviously when the NBA was under contract with Champion, every team used twill numerals.

 

Speaking of which, I would LOVE to have a New Orleans Saints 75th anniversary throwback jersey manufactured by Champion too bad its virtually impossible, and even if you get one, it will cost a bundle.  Still it would be the ultimate dream jersey. 

 

Image result for 1994 new orleans saints

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A little off topic, but does anyone remember Logo Athletic?  They used to do the draft hats and outfitted a few NFL teams on the field during the time of several different suppliers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

What's odd is that the "5" doesn't seem to be the true Champion 5 - it's squared off inside the bottom part of the 5, rather than having the diagonal notches in the corner.

 

I don't think there was ever any champion jerseys that used twill numbers - or if there were, there's weren't any champion jerseys with twill numbers that used the champion font.  Ever team I can think of that switched from screened to twill also changed to a more traditional block font.   It's kinda hard to find good photos from before/after the font switch, but here's a guy that is wearing both of the tell tale numbers.  I think his "after" pic might be in a Reebok jersey though - I'm not sure what they were weraing in 1997 when they actually switched.

 

 

 

  

4021-3578821Bk.jpg4021-3578821Fr.jpg DEeOZraXsAAg3as.jpg:large

The Bills continued to wear heat-pressed numbers well until the 2001 season. They, the Chargers and the Redskins were the last NFL teams wearing heat-pressed numbers/names.

 

http://gameissuedjersey.info/2017/04/1997-jeff-blake-cincinnati-bengals-game-used-team-issued-wilson-jersey/ - Also, I can verify per this link that the final two years the Bengals were supplied by Champion Athletic, they used twill numbers/graphics/names.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Champion's last gasp in pro sports was outfitting the XFL in 2001. Obviously they've reinvented themselves as an athletic.lifestyle brand since, and had quite a fair bit of success doing so.

 

As someone who became a jersey consumer in the 1990s, let me say this unequivocally: Champion replica jerseys were BAD. And I don't mean bad relative to what is sold today, though that would be the case; they were substandard relative to other manufacturers' offerings at the time. NFL replicas were retailing for $40 in 1994, and if you were buying Wilson, or LogoAthletic, or Russell, you were getting a nylon mesh body with dazzle nylon shoulders and sleeves, and screenprinted names, numbers, and striping all over. (You could also upgrade to a Starter jersey for $50 and get slightly heavier materials, plus a little AFC or NFC logo patch sewn at the V-neck.) If you bought Champion, the full jersey was nylon mesh, there were no shoulder or sleeve numbers, and as mentioned earlier, you got the Champion font whether or not your team wore it. The one exception to this was the Bears, who Champion outfitted on-field for several years in the '90s, and actually got their fonts right on the replica jerseys - something Reebok never did for the entirety of their league-wide contract. And if you want to survey the inaccuracies of Champion's NBA jerseys, just go to any white people warm weather music festival. They were using a Helvetica variant for the numerals on Hornets jerseys for a while, for crying out loud.

 

To this day, when I see that Champion font, all I think is "cheap."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the 1980s, Champion Athletic did make NFL jerseys for the retail market, and were more better than their 1990s jerseys quality-wise- in that they were all-mesh, and almost mimicked the on-field product, the use of the Champion Athletic number font notwithstanding.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/301498654014 - This ebay link is an example of such a retail jersey made by Champion in the 80s. Also notice the different jock tag design. (DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to be an advertisement, but meant to illustrate an example of Champion Athletic's 1980s jerseys made for retail.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ElwoodCuse said:

Champion gear that I rock, you get your boots knocked

Sounds like something used to summon some kind of magical powers in a movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/19/2017 at 12:03 AM, Sodboy13 said:

...The one exception to this was the Bears, who Champion outfitted on-field for several years in the '90s, and actually got their fonts right on the replica jerseys - something Reebok never did for the entirety of their league-wide contract...

 

Are you talking about the design of the numbers themselves, or the differences between the front, back, and sleeve numbers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

 

Are you talking about the design of the numbers themselves, or the differences between the front, back, and sleeve numbers?

 

The latter. Reebok used the front/back numeral font on the sleeves as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sodboy13 said:

 

The latter. Reebok used the front/back numeral font on the sleeves as well.

 

Are the current ones accurate? All the images now are Photoshopped, so I’m not sure what the actual product looks like.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently it still exists because the Hawks just released their "black and volt" collection in their online store and half of it is Champion ...and really bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2017 at 10:13 PM, mjd77 said:

A little off topic, but does anyone remember Logo Athletic?  They used to do the draft hats and outfitted a few NFL teams on the field during the time of several different suppliers.

 

YES. Did they go out of business in the middle of the season one year? I remember them doing the Cowboys' gear, and at some point during the '95 season, the Cowboys coaches started wearing generic navy sideline apparel (no team or manufacturer logos) and the players' jerseys had no logos. Really strange.

 

You can see it here during Super Bowl XXX:

4762686.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cowboys were one of the Apex1 teams too.  Pretty sure Apex was responsible for the double-star jerseys as well as the jumbo Flying Elvis (never mind, that was Starter), the Minnesota double-M jersey, and maybe the wacky Iowa jersey.

 

apex1.jpg 5d714398322fafdfaf838a79104ebb20--cheerl  s-l300.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, CitizenTino said:

 

YES. Did they go out of business in the middle of the season one year? I remember them doing the Cowboys' gear, and at some point during the '95 season, the Cowboys coaches started wearing generic navy sideline apparel (no team or manufacturer logos) and the players' jerseys had no logos. Really strange.

 

You can see it here during Super Bowl XXX:

4762686.jpg

 

I don't know for sure what teams they supplied (Oilers and Cardinals are the only 2 I remember for sure), and I don't recall them folding during a season, but I did have an authentic Tennessee Oilers Eddie George jersey that was Logo Athletic.  When they became the Titans, they switched to Puma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Per link above those were actually unbranded Nike jerseys. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, CitizenTino said:

 

YES. Did they go out of business in the middle of the season one year? I remember them doing the Cowboys' gear, and at some point during the '95 season, the Cowboys coaches started wearing generic navy sideline apparel (no team or manufacturer logos) and the players' jerseys had no logos. Really strange.

 

You can see it here during Super Bowl XXX:

4762686.jpg

I believe Jerry Jones signed a deal with Nike. Nike wasn’t a licensed supplier with the NFL yet, so the jerseys didn’t have any logos and the coaches wore generic sideline gear. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Wizza
19 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

The Cowboys were one of the Apex1 teams too.  Pretty sure Apex was responsible for the double-star jerseys as well as the jumbo Flying Elvis (never mind, that was Starter), the Minnesota double-M jersey, and maybe the wacky Iowa jersey.

 

apex1.jpg 5d714398322fafdfaf838a79104ebb20--cheerl  s-l300.jpg

 Never knew Apex did college unis. They seem to have a fondness for big logos on unis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.