The “They Gave Us Game” Initiative Will Feature Heritage-Inspired Apparel and Accessory Collections from Each Historical African American Sports Property Sold Year-Round at 700+ Lids Stores
Leading sports retailer, Lids is honoring three historic Black sports institutions through a first-ever retail partnership with The Negro Leagues Museum, Black Fives, and Harlem Globetrotters. Dubbed “They Gave Us Game,” each property’s products in partnership with Lids – including apparel and accessories like jerseys, caps and shorts – will be sold year-round for the first time in over 700 Lids stores across the U.S. starting this February.
Products from each collection are inspired by original vintage details previously worn by pioneering African American players from each of the three iconic sports entities, including their uniforms and team logos. The collections are brought to life with the use of premium materials, historical patches, and a nod to their extensive history. Designed for today’s consumers, each collection highlights many of the impactful but often previously unknown stories across each realm from decades past. New product collections will be released seasonally moving forward.
This initiative offers countless teachable moments to communicate the full history of sports in America. “Lids is proud to partner with these historical properties that not only changed the course of American history but continue to make an immediate impact in sports today,” said Lawrence Berger, Chairman at FanzzLids Holdings and Partner at Ames Watson, the holding company of Lids. “This initiative is a monumental moment for Lids and these leagues as customers from all over the country will be able to properly support and celebrate these leagues year-round the way it deserves to be.”
Through its nearly 2,000 locations, Lids continues to be the largest destination for licensed team headwear and apparel across all major North American leagues and teams, now past and present. “The histories of these three historic sports genres forever changed sports in the U.S. and across the world,” echoed Britten Maughan, President of Lids. “By ensuring a permanent home for them in hundreds of Lids locations, and more to come, we’re proud to help in the inspirational storytelling our customers and future generations are yearning to hear.”
“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is thrilled to team with Lids on this historically significant and fashionable salute to the Negro Leagues,” said Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “The Negro Leagues not only changed the game of baseball but more importantly helped change America. This partnership will be instrumental in increasing greater awareness of this powerful story of triumph over adversity.”
“We are proud and honored to partner with Lids in this unprecedented retail initiative toward making a meaningful difference in spreading awareness of the important pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball,” said Claude Johnson, founder and executive director of the Black Fives Foundation.
“By introducing this first-of-its-kind merchandise in collaboration with Lids, the Globetrotters are continuing to expand our legendary brand, reaching an entirely new, diverse generation of fans through exciting projects and partnerships,” said Keith Dawkins, President, Harlem Globetrotters & Herschend Entertainment Studios. “The Lids They Gave Us Game campaign is a perfect opportunity to honor our past while building toward an even more thrilling future.”
A portion of all product proceeds from the collections will go towards Lids Foundation. Lids Foundation will be making meaningful donations back to these communities that will help impact youth sports.
Retailing for $80 – $100 and headwear between $31.99 – $39.99, the “They Gave Us Game” collections will be available in-stores starting Monday, February 28th.
Further historical information on each vintage African American sports property can be found below:
Lids Sports Group is the largest licensed sports retailer in North America, selling fan and fashion-oriented headwear and apparel across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico through almost 2,000 retail locations. Indianapolis-based Lids Sports Group carries officially licensed and branded gear aimed at empowering customers to represent their unique and individual style, team, passion and fun. Lids Sports Group operates stores under the Lids, Locker Room by Lids, Fanzz, Yankees Clubhouse Shops, Dodgers Clubhouse, Cardinals Clubhouse, and numerous other nameplates. Lids also has locations within select Macy’s department stores nationwide. To find a retail location near you visit blog.lids.com or join the #LidsLoyal on Instagram (@lids), Facebook (@lids), Twitter (@lids), or LinkedIn.
About The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
The Negro National League was established in Kansas City, MO on Feb. 13, 1920, in a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA by Andrew “Rube” Foster. The Negro Leagues would then operate for 40 years providing a playing field for the best Black and Hispanic athletes to showcase their world-class baseball skills and was a catalyst that sparked economic growth in African American communities across the country.
About The Black Fives Foundation
The Greenwich, CT-based Black Fives Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is to research, preserve, showcase, teach, and honor the pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball, a period known as the Black Fives Era that lasted from the early 1900s to 1950, when the NBA signed its first Black players. The organization advocates expanding Black history education overall to amplify and include this important basketball history, utilizing nearly 1,000 related artifacts in its historical archive as well as a portfolio of related intellectual property and other difference-making initiatives. For more information, please visit http://www.blackfives.org/.
About Harlem Globetrotters
Since 1926, the Harlem Globetrotters have shaped the modern game of basketball with their skills, style and social impact as global ambassadors. They have broken color barriers and won hearts by spreading the game of basketball globally, showcasing their iconic talents in 124 countries and territories on six continents. Currently burning up arenas everywhere on their 2022 Spread Game Tour, the team wears all new streetball-inspired uniforms designed to honor the team legends who came before them. Off the court, Globetrotter collaborations include none other than hip hop legend Snoop Dogg – a ‘Trotters fan who helped produce new video content and new music promoting the team’s tour, and an exclusive NFT collection.
The first Globetrotters Collection at Lids will honor the legendary Fred “Curly” Neal, who passed away in March of 2020. A fan favorite and true trailblazer, Curley played 22 seasons for the Harlem Globetrotters wearing #22. He saw the role of the Globetrotters as entertainers breaking down racial barriers in America by spreading joy and unity. His iconic #22 jersey number was officially retired by the Globetrotters on February 15, 2008.