Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Baden Sports, Join Forces to Empower Native Youth
New partnership creates exclusive agreement to provide Tribal Sports athletic balls manufactured by Baden to Alaska and beyond
SITKA, Alaska (June 3, 2015) – The Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) and Baden Sports, Inc., today announced the formation of Sitka Tribal Sports, Inc., to encourage, support and empower Native Alaskan youth – as well as American Indian youth across the country and First Nations youth in Canada – through participation in sports and business. The partnership establishes Sitka Tribal Sports as the exclusive provider of “Tribal Sports” athletic balls from Baden, including top-of-the-line game basketballs and footballs, effective immediately.
“I am proud to stand with STA and Baden Sports to realize this dream of empowering our youth to live better lives through their own efforts,” said Lawrence SpottedBird, General Manager, Sitka Tribe of Alaska. “This dream is a result of many years of planning to come together, as an Indian Tribe and a family-owned corporation, to show how this unique partnership can not only make a profit, but also build lives along the way. Of all the businesses I have worked with, this is the most rewarding.”
One of the primary goals of the partnership is to encourage Native American youth to lead healthy, drug-free lifestyles. Youth involved with the program will learn lessons in business, marketing and sales; locally, Sitka Tribal Sports has selected a youth board to be involved in decision-making processes. Additionally, Baden, a family-owned company based in Renton, Wash., will donate a percentage of net sales generated by the partnership to causes supporting Native Americans.
“We are honored and excited to be working with Sitka Tribal Sports on this historic partnership,” said Michael Schindler, CEO, Baden Sports. “We believe in the power of sports to create positive change and stand with the tribal leaders in their goals of creating a better present and future for Native youth.”
Balls sold by Sitka Tribal Sports will be branded with an exclusive Tribal Sports logo designed by award-winning, Tlingit and Aleut artist Nicholas Galanin. The logo is in the shape of a hand with a raised index finger.
“The imagery represents our cultural arts’ ability to continue its relevance across platforms. The health of our community through activity and sports is an important priority,” Galanin said. “As a father, I am grateful to be included on such a project that incorporates our cultural identity with community wellness. Inside the hand is an image of a spirit face; as my instructor, Louis Minard, taught me, these faces symbolize life and movement.”
The first balls available from Sitka Tribal Sports will be basketballs and footballs, including the Elite™, Baden’s highest-quality game basketball, and the QB1™, Baden’s newest leather football, designed by former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen. Colored composite and rubber balls, as well as Baden’s traditional red playground balls, also will be available.
In addition to athletic balls, Baden manufacturers the Axe™ Bat, a revolutionary bat with an axe-shaped handle designed to fit ergonomically in a batter’s hand. The design has been scientifically proven to provide better bat control and grip stability, enhance power transfer, and improve barrel acceleration compared to bats with traditional round knobs and handles.1 The Axe™ Bat is approved for play at all amateur and professional levels and is being swung exclusively by college baseball programs across the country.
About Sitka Tribal Sports
Sitka Tribal Sports, Inc., was established in 2014 as a Tribally-chartered corporation owned entirely by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. In early 2015, the “Tribal Sports” brand was created to promote our line of products starting with a brand of sports balls. As a for-profit corporation, Sitka Tribal Sports is structured to make a profit and be self-sustaining. But no profits will be distributed to shareholders. Any profits earned will be used to build the organization’s capacity to reach more Native youth throughout Alaska and the nation. Profits will empower our Native youth to participate in many school activities to build their lives, and will be used to support youth travel to participate in activities – both academic and sports – and teach how to succeed in a competitive society, but to “win with respect.” For more information, visit Sitka Tribal Sports’ Facebook page.
About Baden Sports
Baden Sports, Inc., an independent, family-owned company based in Renton, Wash., is a designer and producer of the highest-quality athletic balls. Baden also manufactures the new Axe™ line of high-performance baseball and softball bats. For 35 years, Baden’s product innovation and leadership have led conferences, programs and coaches at all levels to choose Baden as their official ball. For more information, visit Baden’s website and Facebook page.
1 Biomechanical Study of the New Axe Handle Baseball Bats and Comparison with Standard Round Knob Bats: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0672/3253/files/AXE_Bat_Study_4_10_14.pdf?667.
Sitka Tribe of Alaska / Sitka Tribal Sports
456 Katlian St.
Sitka, AK 99835
Phone: (907) 747-7394
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