KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (March 23, 2020) – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced it will extend its partnership with Spalding – the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world – as the association’s official supplier of basketballs. Beginning in July and running through the end of June 2023, Spalding’s TF 1000 Legacy basketball will continue to be the “Official Basketball of the NAIA.”
Much like the NAIA, Spalding boasts an innovative and decorated history. The organization made its mark in the athletics world when former Boston Red Stockings and Chicago White Stockings pitcher A.G. Spalding opened a sporting goods company in Chicago in 1876. That same year, Spalding became the official baseball of the National League – a relationship that lasted for 100 years.
It was 1894 when Spalding made its mark in the basketball world, as the founder of basketball and a key individual in the creation of the NAIA, Dr. James Naismith, employed Spalding to develop the first basketball. Since that moment, basketball has been a focus for Spalding, including becoming the official ball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1983 and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 1997.