Champion Teamwear Guide to Esports

Always at the forefront of innovation, Champion is one of the first major sports apparel brands to join the world of Esports – before competitors Nike, Adidas, Puma and Reebok. Starting in 2018, Champion began several exclusive partnerships with Team Dignitas, PlayVS, the Robert Morris University Esports team and The Renegades.

But what is Esports?

Short for “electronic sports,” Esports is defined as the world of competition between teams that play multiplayer video games for spectators. Esports teams are usually comprised of professional video game players, although it also describes non-professional players that compete at the high school or college level.

Similar to how a professional athlete like LeBron James plays basketball for a living, professional Esports players’ careers consist of traveling and competing in gaming tournaments with winning prize pools often in the millions. The League of Legends 2016 World Championship, for example, attracted over 43 million online viewers and had a grand prize pool of over 6 million dollars.

Games played by Esports teams generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Strategy/MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games
    League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, DOTA 2
  • Fighting games
    Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros, Dragonball Fighter Z
  • Survival/Battle Royale games
    PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds), Fortnite
  • Shooter games
    Overwatch, CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
  • Sports games
    Rocket League, NBA2K, FIFA

Champion Esports Partnerships

In 2018, Champion entered the Esports world with their partnership with Team Dignitas, becoming their official provider of competitive jerseys, casual wear and athletic wear in September.

“The opportunity to partner with the apparel company that has pioneered one of the most essential retail pieces in any Esports player and fan’s wardrobe — the hoodie — is truly appropriate,” Michael Prindiville, Team Dignitas CEO, said. “Champion’s recent reemergence into pop culture mirrors Team Dignitas’ incredible renaissance in fan popularity and dominance in competition.”

In October, Champion’s partnership with PlayVS, a high school-focused Esports startup, provided the first official state-level high school Esports league created by the NFHS, Season Zero, with official team jerseys.

Champion hoodies and sweatpants for late night streams

“Champion is ecstatic to join PlayVS… as the official team apparel partner – a first for Esports in the high school realm,” Tyler Lewison, General Manager of Champion Teamwear, said. “The fact that the NFHS was forward thinking in partnering with PlayVS to bring gaming to high schools across the country was a driving factor to all work together. Champion is proud to be a part of this monumental experience which not only demonstrates the popularity and rapid growth of gaming but the necessity for implementing this form of competition in schools.”

Then in November, Champion partnered with the Robert Morris University’s Esports team, officially entering the world of collegiate Esports.

“As an innovator in athletic apparel, Champion is thrilled to partner with the Robert Morris University Esports program – one of the first collegiate programs in the nation,” Lewison said. “For 100 years, Champion has helped break barriers within sports and we are excited to be part of establishing Esports in the collegiate realm. This has been a phenomenal experience.”

In 2019, Champion has continued their venture into the world of Esports, forming a new partnership with Esports team The Renegades as their official apparel provider.


Getting your school involved in Esports

UltraFuse fully customizable competition tees

Esports has the potential to be a lucrative career – in fact, some universities have begun treating Esports competitors as they might treat any other athletic recruit and offering scholarships to play on university Esports teams.

“Esports is reaching a crucial milestone in terms of overcoming stigma associated with being a video gamer,” Michael Wisnios, Director of Robert Morris University Esports, said. “Champion has recognized this moment and our players are excited to be continuing their 100-year legacy of breaking barriers in the world of athletics.”

Bags, slides and hats for long distance tournaments

Besides the potential for college scholarships, there are plenty of reasons to start up an Esports team at the high school level, such as increased participation and character development. Not only do Esports often engage students who might not participate in school athletics or activities, it also provides a way for students to build self-esteem, learn sportsmanship and develop discipline through practice and gameplay – even giving some students the incentive to keep their grades up to compete on teams.

For years, Champion Teamwear has been providing apparel for athletes and teams across the nation – now including Esports teams. Whether your Esports team is brand new or just looking to change up their look, Champion Teamwear has the apparel your Esports team needs.

For more info on how to start an Esports team at your school, check out the NFHS Esports page.

History of the Champion Sports Bra

For over 40 years, Champion has improved and innovated a revolutionary piece of women’s sports apparel, the sports bra. Since its inception in 1977, the sports bra has undergone major improvements with colors and styles for every activity.

But how did one of the most essential sports equipment for women come to be?

Inventing the Sports Bra

Before the 1970s, women were generally barred from participating in sports. Too much physical exertion was considered unhealthy and even dangerous for women. Most were not encouraged to play a sport and physical education in schools was considerably less strenuous in the girls’ class than the boys’.

Then in 1972, Title IX was passed, a federal law that mandated equal opportunity for women and girls in school and education – a measure that extended to equality of opportunity for women in sports.

This newfound sports equality, coupled with the “running boom” of the 1970s, exposed a serious gap in women’s sports apparel. Before the invention of the sports bra, women wore traditional bras while they worked out – bras that would pinch and poke, with bra straps that would slide down shoulders.

Then Lisa Lindahl created her “jockbra” prototype.

Lindahl had been swept up in the “running boom” of the 70s and, like many women at the time, was unsatisfied with her bra options. After a conversation with her sister about the uncomfortable nature of bras, she compiled a personal list of all the things she ideally wanted in a bra.

“The straps wouldn’t fall,” Lindahl said in an interview with WBUR.org. “There wouldn’t be any hardware to dig in. It couldn’t chafe. It would be breathable and lightweight and all these wonderful things.”

Lindahl recruited her friend and costume designer Polly Smith to help her create a bra suitable to be worn during exercise. However, the idea for the “jockbra” didn’t come until Lindahl’s husband jokingly held a jockstrap up to his chest. Smith and Lindahl cut apart two jockstraps and sewed them together, and in 1977, the first sports bra – called the “Jogbra” – was born. Lindahl and her manufacturing partner Hinda Miller took to the streets to sell the Jogbra to sports stores, eventually selling the invention to Champion.

Champion Advancements in Modern Sports Bras

The sports bra has undergone drastic improvements and changes since its inception in 1977. This is largely thanks to the research of Dr. LaJean Lawson, Sports Bra Science and Marketing Consultant for Champion Athleticwear.

For over 30 years, Lawson has been studying sports bras for Champion. Lawson, along with a team of engineers, advises the Champion designers on seam placement, strap design, and more.

“Actually testing bras in a scientific way using state of the art equipment has helped me and Champion to understand how to build bras that really work,” Lawson told People Magazine. “I know on Champion bras it says high impact, medium impact, maximum impact because it’s been through the lab experience, it has met the criteria that is set by Champion so we guarantee that it’s going to perform this way.”

According to Lawson, advancements since the plain white elastic Jogbra have been immense, including moisture-wicking technology, body-friendly velcros and polymer melded seams, as well as the addition of more stylish options.

“In the toolbox we have some very evolved methods, all geared towards the goal of making the garment more comfortable,” said Lawson. “Because there’s less chafing, making the bra handle sweat better… creating more support with a lighter construction.”

A national survey commissioned by Champion shows that a durable, quality sports bra is needed by women in sport now more than ever. According to the survey, there has been a significant improvement in women’s participation in sport – 100 percent of women ages 10 to 24 said they were encouraged to play sports (versus the 75 percent of 25 to 34-year-old women or 45 percent of women 55 and older).

“We conducted this survey to better understand the importance of organized sports and fitness to women,” Claire Powell, general manager of Champion Athleticwear, told BusinessWire. “What we found was overwhelming support for sports as a means for building confidence, self-esteem, respect and leadership – skills that women feel translate well into all aspects of their lives.”

“Since the introduction of that first sports bra, styles have become incredibly comfortable and dramatically more supportive,” Powell said. “High-tech fabrics are lighter, stronger and more flexible to provide exceptional freedom of movement while still delivering the support that women need. Plus, Champion has infused color, style and feminine detailing that ensure women look as good as they feel. Champion understands that for most women, the sports bra is her most important piece of fitness equipment.”

5 Ways to Prepare for Collegiate Cheer and Dance

Are you interested in joining a collegiate cheer or dance team? Champion Teamwear has the top 5 tips you should follow to impress the coaches.

Conditioning

Physical fitness is a key factor for any collegiate cheer or dance program. Evaluating each candidate’s physical ability allows coaches to gauge their tumbling and/or stunting capabilities. To make sure you stand out at tryouts, review the cheer and dance program’s fitness standards and learn what is required of each candidate. For example, Boston College requires candidates to execute above-average-stamina toe touches in order to be considered for the final roster.

Back to the basics

Motions play a major factor in your score, so make sure to clean them up! Here are the top 3 motion mistakes candidates make:

  • Broken wrists and elbows
  • Arms are too far back or forward
  • Facing your fists

Need a refresher on each motion? Check out our helpful guide here.

Introduce yourself and study the material

Introducing yourself to the coaches and attending each clinic will benefit you and your score. Coaches want to learn more about potential members so introducing yourself in person or via email will garner brownie points with them. During the initial introduction make sure to share the following:

  • Your background
  • Tumbling skills
  • Stunt position
  • How you can benefit the program
  • Potential questions you may have

In addition to introducing yourself, make sure you know the routines, fight song and chants. Not every school goes over the fight song during the clinics, so learning it can put you ahead of other candidates.

Look game day ready

Although most schools don’t require it, looking game day ready can benefit your tryout scores. Whether it is curling your hair or trying out in the school’s colors, dressing the part will help coaches envision you as a part of the team. Not sure of the program’s dress code? Study images from the previous season to nail the official team look.

Confidence is key

Coaches gravitate to confident, knowledgeable candidates so take a deep breath and blow them away with your skills. Worried about forgetting a move or fumbling the routine? Don’t panic! If you do mess up keep going. Coaches will be impressed that you pushed through your mistake instead of stopping altogether.

How to Improve Your Football Throws

As you prepare for your upcoming football season you should begin to refine basic skills such as your ability to throw the football far and quickly. A key way to improve these skills is to correct your stance, make sure you are gripping the ball correctly and strengthen the muscles in your arms. Not sure where to start or which workouts you should implement into your training to accomplish this? Don’t worry! Champion Teamwear has the 4-essential tips you need to improve your throw.

Correct your stance

To master throwing a football, you’ll need to ensure you are in the correct stance. Having a proper stance will not only keep you balanced, but it will guarantee that your throw has the distance you were aiming for. According to the University of Texas-Permian Basin Head Coach Justin Carrigan, there are 4 key steps to get into a proper throwing stance.

  1. Bend your knees
  2. Make sure the power of your throw comes from your back leg
  3. Keep your back toe on the ground
  4. Aim your belly button toward your target

Find your grip

According to USAFootball.com, the placement of each finger as you grip the football determines whether your throw will have power and distance.

  • The thumb helps with grip.
  • The index finger helps with direction/leverage and is the last finger on release.
  • The middle finger represents balance and spin.
  • The last two fingers create spacing and spin.

When you grip the football make sure you are not holding it tightly. Gripping the ball too tightly will result in your entire body tensing up which can hinder the play. Instead, hold the ball loosely with your fingertips. The positioning of your index finger and thumb will help you know whether your hand is in the correct position. While holding the ball, your index finger and thumb should be in the shape of an “L”. If it isn’t you’ll know to readjust your grip.

Strengthen your arms and shoulders

A key way to improve your throwing skills is to strengthen the muscles in your arms. Strengthening your arms will improve the speed of your throw and overall yardage. One workout that will help you build up your upper body strength is the dumbbell back fly. This workout focuses on your rotational strength, flexibility and back muscles.

Dumbbell Back Fly

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, get into a pushup position on the floor.
  2. Once in position, lift one of your elbows up until it is at a 90-degree angle. (Make sure to keep your arm close to your body).
  3. After completing a 90-degree angle, continue lifting that arm until it’s straight in the air.
  4. Return to your starting position and repeat with the opposite arm.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps per arm.

**Training Tip: To execute this workout correctly, make sure your hips are parallel to the floor the entire time.**

Keep practicing

Your throws aren’t going to improve overnight, so make sure you are practicing often and adjusting your stance and grip.