This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Starter, the athletic brand established in 1971 owned by Iconix Brand Group. To mark the occasion, the Starter brand has launched a partnership with Budweiser to develop and drop multiple product collaborations throughout 2021.
The Starter brand quickly catapulted to become one of the most innovative global sports brands in history by connecting fans and their favorite teams and players on a whole new level. They pioneered the fusion of sports clothing with popular culture by forging partnerships with the major professional sports leagues, colleges, Olympic sports, and individual athletes. The Starter satin jacket is a wardrobe staple of many major-league athletes, celebrities, and fans used to express their team pride and style. The brand would grow to become a dominant part of everyday sports fan’s life representing authenticity and the opportunity to “wear what the pros wear.”
“It all began with an iconic star and the idea that every athlete dreams of being a starting player,” said founder David Beckerman. But Starter didn’t stop at athletes, it extended across cultural lines, drawing influence from sport, music, and pop culture. Key moments include Joe Torre of the New York Mets stepping out onto the field wearing the first authentic Starter satin jacket and in 1986 introducing the first NBA Championship Locker Room Tee-Shirt worn by the Boston Celtics. Past Starter spokespeople have included iconic figures such as Dan Marino, Lawrence Taylor, Emmit Smith, Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas, Cal Ripken, Reggie Jackson, Florence Griffith Joyner, and Brooke Shields.
“We are proud to celebrate this milestone with Starter, one of the most iconic sport brands of all time,” said Bob Galvin, president and CEO at Iconix Brand Group. “Starter has always realized that sport transcends the game, it’s about a shared spirit, an important reminder for our time as fans celebrate from afar. We are all part of something bigger.”
“The Starter brand has and continues to have a formative influence on my vision of how sport and fashion culture intersect,” added Carl Banks, president of G-III Sports Division. “Fashion and fandom is an emotional connection. No brand does it better. I am honored to continue the legacy of David Beckerman.”
As part of the celebration, Budweiser kicks off in 2021 with a reboot of the Bud Bowl. Having first aired in 1989 during Super Bowl XXII, Starter x Budweiser will commemorate the previous Bud Bowls and celebrate the relaunch with a collection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats all with classic Bud Bowl artwork.