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Starter (apparel company) is a manufacturer of fleeces, footwear, compressions, and other accessories.[1] It was founded in 1971 in New Haven, Connecticut by David Beckerman.[2] In 1980, it began partnerships with major leagues in basketball, football, baseball, and hockey as well as in 150 colleges and universities. It was the first apparel brand to co-brand with professional, collegiate and Olympic sports. Starter offered baseball-style Starter jackets as well as caps for teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball, and major U.S. universities.[3] In the early 1990s, Starter began to expand its distribution networks to reach over 25 countries in North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.[4] The baseball jackets gave way to a hooded design with a side zipper, and eventually to a padded half-zip pullover. Starter apparel also expanded beyond sports clubs into styles such as plaid. A famous ad campaign featured Hip-Hop stars such as DJ Jazzy Jeff. 1997 saw Starter become one of three suppliers (along with Champion and then-rival Nike) of uniforms for the NBA, most notably the New York Knickerbockers and New Orleans Hornets. When the original company declined financially, their accounts went to Puma. In 2000 when 29 other MLB teams switched to the MLB Authentic Collection, the New York Yankees were the last team to wear Starter jackets. The Starter name was purchased in 1999 by Official Starter Properties and Official Starter. These holding companies were in turn purchased by Nike in 2004 for about $43 million Recent developments It has partnered with Walmart. In November 15, 2007, Iconix Brand Group bought the Starter brand from Nike, Inc. In 2009, Starter signed an exclusive endorsement agreement with quarterback Tony Romo.[5] Tony will be the featured brand ambassador for Starter's national advertising. References ^ [1] ^ ^ [2] ^ [3] ^ [4] External links Starter Iconix Brand Group