Mitchell & Ness Brand
In 1904, former tennis and wrestling champ, Frank P. Mitchell partners with Scottish golfer Charles M. Ness to form a sporting goods store on Arch Street in Philadelphia, PA. Mitchell & Ness Sporting Goods specialized in handcrafted tennis racquets, gold clubs, and other equipment.
In 1917, a teenage boy named Sisto Capolino travels from Italy to Philadelphia in need of work. At age 13, he begins working as a store clerk, sweeping floors, cleaning up, and living above the Mitchell & Ness store. Along the way, he learns English and becomes an apprentice-stringing tennis racquets and carving clubs.
By 1924, Mitchell & Ness begins designing and manufacturing uniforms for high school, college, and semi-pro sports teams in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
In 1933, the company goes pro when the newly formed Philadelphia Eagles employ Mitchell & Ness as their official on-field outfitter. Mitchell & Ness’ success and reputation grows as the business expands to include two local major league baseball clubs, the Philadelphia Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies. At the same time, the Eagles begin to sport Mitchell & Ness apparel both on-field and off-field in new sweaters and jackets. Sisto takes over ownership bringing his son Peter into the business.
In 1983, a man walks into Mitchell & Ness to have two game-worn baseball jerseys repaired. In attempting to do so, Peter discovers thousands of yards of discarded wool flannel, which inspires him to recreate vintage jerseys.
On July 6, 1987, Sports Illustrated features Mitchell & Ness in the article “Baseball Flannels are Hot.” The article chronicles the growing popularity of sportswear as fashion, as well as Peter’s research methods.
In 1988, Major League Baseball creates the Authentic Cooperstown Collection license-giving Mitchell & Ness exclusive permission to make player number jerseys.
After the widespread success of the Cooperstown Collection, the NBA, NFL, and NHL grant Mitchell & ness licenses. The jerseys become increasingly popular among entertainers and atheletes, making frequent appearances in music videos and magazines
After first obtaining the license for NBA headwear ten years earlier, by 2007 Mitchell & Ness is producing headwear for the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA. The category continues to prosper within the assortment, and in some ways has become more synonymous with Mitchell & Ness than any of the brand’s other product lines.
While trends come and go, Mitchell & Ness jerseys remain popular among sports’ greatest enthusiast: the true fan. In 2005, after numerous requests from collectors, Mitchell & Ness acquires its most recent license, the CLC College Vault label. A year later, Mitchell & Ness is granted the exclusive rights to reproduce Authentic Michael Jordan jerseys.