The 60’s was yet another important decade for the brand as they were now boasting production for 10 Major League baseball teams whilst also providing exclusive caps for the Apollo 11 moon mission’s Splashdown Recovery effort on the USS Hornet in 1969.
From this point onwards New Era saw a rise in the amount of Major League baseball teams whom they were producing for, whilst they also expanded their production to other national and local sporting teams. It was equally a period in which they would lay the foundations for the fan driven pro licensing that would come together in the 80’s.
At this point it appears as though the expansion and development of the brand, since its birth back in 1920, really started to gain momentum with the introduction of selling its products to various sporting teams outside of the USA. The mid 80’s was also a crucial turning point for the company in terms of production with the exceptional improvement in machinery which allowed for greater product turnover to keep up with the ever increasing demand for caps.
Likewise the 90’s also had its own fair share of turning points for the brand, an example being that it was 59 years since they first provided caps for the Cleveland Indians and in 1993 they were finally awarded their first exclusive license with Major League Baseball to be the official suppliers of on field caps for all teams.
It was also in the 90’s and in particular 1996 when the brand’s image moved into the realms of fashion, as opposed to the specifically sport related image that it had held for the last 70 years, with the request from Spike Lee to have a red New York Yankees cap. Furthermore, the following year saw another monumental event take place as New Era changed its logo for the first time in a generation to what is known as the “Flag.” Up until this point New Era had been using a logo created at the end of the 60’s by Valerie Koch.
The early 2000’s saw the brand continue along the same vein as before as they set up offices in Europe, the UK, Japan and Australia all in the space of two years. Likewise the brand continued to work on the development of its products, whilst experimenting with new silhouettes, materials and collaborating with many other brands and personalities. Four family generations later and New Era Cap Company boasts accounts in over 40 countries around the world, it holds licences with over 220 sports teams and produces over 30 million caps every year. Living by the motto created back in 1934 of “quality first, quantity will follow,” clearly paid off when you delve into New Era’s heritage and realise what the brand has achieved in just over 90 years and will hopefully continue to achieve in the next 90 years as well.
Once again many thanks to Jonny, Sam and the rest of the team at New Era for supporting this project.
Stay tuned for more forthcoming BNTL collaborations and projects with New Era over the coming months.
All images courtesy of New Era
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