Source: Spalding BOWLING GREEN, KY (April 25, 2013) - The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has announced Spalding, a division of Russell Brands, LLC ("Spalding"), and the world's largest basketball equipment supplier and one of the most iconic sports brands in the world, as the official ball for five of its premier sports starting July 2013. The five-year partnership names Spalding as the 'Official Ball' of NJCAA baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball and football. In addition, Spalding's softball brand - Dudley® - will stay on as the official ball of NJCAA softball.

"By partnering with Spalding, we are ensuring our member colleges and their student-athletes are playing with the best on-field equipment and reinforcing our goal of promoting two-year college athletics on a national level," said Mary Ellen Leicht, Executive Director of the NJCAA. "With nearly 60,000 student-athletes competing in the NJCAA, this partnership is a great step forward for our membership." The NJCAA is one of the largest intercollegiate sports organizations in the United States, second only to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The equipment provided by Spalding is manufactured with premium leather or composite materials developed for improved on-field performance in each sport. The TF-SB1 football, for example, is constructed of exclusive Horween "S" tack leather for improved grip and "spiral balance" technology for increased passing accuracy. "This partnership allows us to provide the NJCAA's talented student-athletes with the best equipment possible, while strengthening our presence in collegiate athletics," said Paul Sullivan, Senior Vice President for Spalding. Under the terms of the agreement, Spalding and Dudley will be the "Official Ball" of NJCAA baseball, men's and women's basketball, football and softball until June 2018. In a unique aspect of the agreement, member institutions will be able to order equipment directly on the NJCAA website while continuing to maintain their business relationship with their local team dealers.

For more information about the partnership log on to www.spalding.com. To learn more about the National Junior College Athletic Association visit www.njcaa.org.

About SpaldingA Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the Little League World Series and the official volleyball of King of the Beach. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING and DUDLEY trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.

About the NJCAA Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. Now entering its 75th anniversary, the NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.