Russell Athletic is owned by
Fruit of the Loom (which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway).
Russell Manufacturing Company was founded in
1902 by Benjamin Russell. With legacies like the invention of the
sweatshirt and outfitting great athletes for generations,
Russell Athletic has played an integral role in developing
performance wear that delivers for more than 100 years! Combining the
old with the new, Russell Athletic continues to create modern-day
classics for everyday athletes.
For more than 100 years, Russell Brands has
supplied America’s athletes and teams with the latest innovations to
help them perform at their best and is a leading supplier of apparel and
team uniforms at the high school, college and professional levels.
Russell Brand’s collegiate licensed products and athletic wear are
broadly distributed and marketed through department stores, sports
specialty stores, retail chains and college bookstores.
The company was founded by Benjamin Russell in
Alexander City, Alabama, in 1902. The original mill produced women's
undershirts and children's undergarments. The mills beginning capacity
was 150 garments daily. During the 1910s, Russell Manufacturing Co.
become an established business. By 1925 long underwear, sweaters,
athletic shirts and women's bloomers were added to the production of
women's vests, making a more complete product line.
1932 saw how Russell acquired Southern
Manufacturing Company, which gave the company access to athletic team
apparel. This was the beginning of the Russell Athletic division's
cutting and sewing operations. Later in 1938, Russell began making woven
athletic garments, including basketball, baseball and football pants and
In 1941, founder Benjamin Russell died on the 16th
of December and the reins of the company were passed to his son Benjamin
C. Russell. During World War II, Russell's 'Athletic' Division sold
primarily to the military. Shirts, drawers, T-shirts, athletic garments
and special outer garments were made for the Army and Navy. Benjamin C.
Russell died in 1945 and was succeeded as president by his brother,
Thomas D. Russell. After the War, the company embarked on further
expansion and development throughout its knitting, weaving, dyeing,
finishing and cutting departments.
During the 1960s, the 'Athletic' division was the
largest marketer and manufacturer of athletic apparel and uniforms in
the country. In 1962, Russell Manufacturing Company's name was changed
to Russell Mills, Inc. In 1973, Russell Mills' name was changed to
"Russell Corporation", and the company expanded manufacturing across the
Southern USA, also to Latin America and Scotland.
In 1992, Russell Athletic dealt a five-year
contract to serve as the exclusive producer and marketer of athletic
uniforms for most Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. The contract also
stipulated that the company held the exclusive right to manufacture and
market replicas of major league uniforms, T-shirts, and shorts. The
contract was extended after that period to 1999; after which there was
no exclusive uniform supplier to MLB, but continued to supply uniforms
to some MLB teams through the end of the 2004 season, when Majestic
Athletic became the exclusive supplier to uniforms to MLB.
On April 17, 2006, Berkshire Hathaway agreed
to purchase 100% of Russell. The acquisition was successfully completed
in August 2006. Russell's brands joined
of the Loom, Inc. in the Berkshire Hathaway family of products.
about Fruit of the Loom here on Apparel Search.