BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY (September 2, 2021) – Spalding® introduced its new TF® line of performance basketballs that are engineered for professional, collegiate, and high school leagues, in addition to recreational and outdoor use. To announce the launch, Spalding tapped brand ambassador Damian Lillard to star in a campaign focused on his love for the game.
In 1937, Spalding® debuted the first “Last Bilt™” stitchless, laceless, and perfectly balanced basketball. Shortly after, the ball was given the name Top-Flite 100™ and became the first ball in what is now the Spalding® TF® line. The first TF® basketball’s construction changed the game, and was later adopted by the Olympics, NCAA, Basketball Hall of Fame, and many others. The premium Horween® leather cover of the Top-Flite 100™ is what led to Spalding’s first NBA game ball in 1983.
In 1992, Spalding® changed the game again when the brand debuted the first basketball made with composite leather material, the TF-1000™, making the game more accessible to all players. Since its inception, the Spalding® TF® line has set the pace in basketball innovation, from ball construction to quality materials.
The Spalding® TF® line today is structured for use from outdoor to indoor, featuring rubber, composite leather and genuine leather basketball options. The Spalding® basketballs that carry the TF® shield are made with exclusive materials engineered for performance, so athletes can play their best anytime, anywhere.
Spalding®’s TF® line of basketballs will be used in 20-plus high school state adoptions, NAIA, NJCAA, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Conference Championships for the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic 10, Mid-American Conference and Big South, in addition to international leagues and federations, such as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. TF® basketballs will be the focus of Spalding’s grassroot engagements, such as the Pangos All-American Camps, AAU World Championships, Lakepoint, Hoophall Classic, and many others.
“Each basketball in the Spalding® TF® line is designed with the athlete’s performance at the forefront of our innovation,” said Tadd Reilly, Spalding Vice President of Marketing, Global Basketball. “From exclusive materials to the Spalding® Shooter’s Seam construction, Spalding® TF® basketballs are engineered so you can play your best at any level of competition, anytime, and anywhere.”
Spalding tapped Lillard, the point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers who has been with the brand since 2016, to be the face of the TF® basketball campaign. From the playground to the court, “Dame” used Spalding® TF® basketballs throughout his basketball journey, as a kid through to professional leagues. The campaign highlights “Dame’s” love for the game. The Spalding® TF® basketball line takes players on their journey as they better their game and themselves.
“Since my childhood in Oakland, Spalding® TF® basketballs have played a significant role in my basketball journey,” Lillard said. “From the moment you pick up a Spalding® TF® ball, you can tell it’s just built different – from the grip to the quality of the material. I’m excited to continue to work with Spalding to create the best basketballs in the world.”
From past to present, Spalding® peak performance basketballs carry the TF® name and Spalding will use the TF® basketball platform to continuously innovate to move the game forward. The core TF® line of basketballs, ranging in price from $24.99 to $149.99, can be purchased at www.spalding.com and select retailers starting today, with more coming later this year.