Netflix documentary - ‘The Rise and Fall of AND1’ - What happened to the street basketball brand?
The Netflix documentary Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1, chronicles how the brand went from the top before falling behind its competitors.
Inspired by New York City streetball, influential street and basketball brand AND1 turned local legends on the court into international icons.
The brand was founded in Philadelphia in 1993 by Jay Coen Gilbert, Seth Berger and Tom Austin.
The company was originally based in Paoli (Pennsylvania) before it was bought in 2005 by American Sporting Goods Inc with the president at the time being Kevin Wulff, who has been CEO of retro basketball culture attire brand Mitchell & Ness since 2016.
The brand was founded with an aggressive, street ball, in-your-face attitude using basketball trash talk slogans on t-shirts, like “Pass. Save yourself the embarrassment.” AND1 marketed itself towards the “ballers,” those who hone their craft on the streets and always think they’re the best players on the court.
AND1 grew and international recognition followed in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s when it began its “Mix Tape Series.” The videos showed streetball stunts and moves with hip-hop and rap playing in the background.
Stars included Grayson “The Professor” Scott Boucher and Philip “Hot Sauce” Champion. The first mixtape DVD saw 200,000 sold in the span of three weeks in 1999 in what AND1 calls “one of the most successful promotions in U.S. retail history.” AND1 began going on tours each summer beginning in 2002 to film and market the mixtapes.
This was when the company was in its prime becoming the number two seller of basketball shoes in the United states in 2001 generating a revenue of $285 million. There was an ESPN series spin off along with AND1 Streetball video game.
AND1 began to recruit more and more NBA players to wear their product, including Latrell Sprewell, Kevin Garnett and Jamal Crawford with the company’s products securing mass nationwide and global distribution.
Berger and Gilbert left the company when it was sold in 2005, while Austin departed in 2003. American Sporting Goods was based in California, effectively breaking off AND1′s ties to its spiritual home of Philadelphia. The company was bought and sold a number of times and is now controlled by the Sequential Brands Group despite its slow decline in sales over the years.
Despite it’s waning success over the past decade, the brand does still sponsor the likes of current NBA stars Fred Van Fleet, Jevon Carter and Daryl Macon.