NFL Jersey Licenses Timeline | A rich history Starter, Reebok, Nike Adidas and more

NFL Jersey Licenses Timeline

The history of NFL jersey manufacturers is a fascinating journey through time, reflecting the evolution of sports apparel and the business landscape of professional football. From the early days of individual team contracts to exclusive league-wide deals, the story of NFL Jersey Licenses Timeline is one of competition, innovation, and iconic partnerships.

The Early Days: Late 80s and Early 90s

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, NFL apparel outfitters engaged in bidding wars with individual teams. Teams had the autonomy to choose their preferred manufacturer, leading to a diverse landscape of jersey suppliers across the league.

Mid-90s: Streamlining the Process

Around the mid-1990s, the NFL recognized the need for a more streamlined approach to outfitting teams. The league began assigning a sideline merchandise licensee to each team, marking a shift towards centralized decision-making in jersey manufacturing.

2002: Reebok’s Exclusive Deal

In 2002, Reebok secured an exclusive deal with the NFL, becoming the sole apparel supplier for all teams. This landmark agreement marked a significant consolidation of manufacturing rights and introduced a new era of uniformity in NFL team gear.

2012: Nike Takes the Helm

After a decade-long partnership with Reebok, Nike stepped into the spotlight as the exclusive apparel supplier for the NFL in 2012. The transition marked a new chapter in the league’s jersey licensing history, bringing Nike’s renowned innovation and style to the forefront of NFL fashion.

Exploring the Historical Licenses Timeline

Delving into the historical licenses timeline reveals a diverse array of manufacturers and partnerships that have shaped the NFL’s visual identity over the years. From Champion and Russell to Nike and Adidas, each brand leaves its unique imprint on the league’s iconic jerseys.


The history of NFL Jersey Licenses Timeline is a testament to the ever-changing landscape of sports apparel and the enduring legacy of iconic brands. From humble beginnings to exclusive partnerships, the journey reflects the NFL’s commitment to innovation, style, and excellence on and off the field. As the league continues to evolve, one thing remains constant: the enduring power of the NFL jersey as a symbol of team pride and tradition.

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