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A former college athlete with a passion for sports, DAVID BECKERMAN launches Starter. A sporting goods and apparel business in New Haven CT.

The name was chosen for its simplicity and because every athlete dreams of being a starting player.


At the time it was difficult to find licensed sports apparel in the store, so Beckerman convinced Major League Baseball’s Licensing Corp. to grant him a license in 1976 to produce licensed sports apparel, jackets and accessories.

Licenses for the NBA and NHL quickly followed.

At this time one of the most iconic products made was the starter SATIN JACKET with team badges and colors. Starter also innovatively placed its embroidered logo on jacket sleeves and on the back of baseball caps.


In 1983, the NFL finally agreed to a deal after eight years of rejection. By this time, Starter had every major professional sport in its lineup.


On-field/on-court supplier for all major pro leagues.

STARTER modified the traditional coaches parka and redesigned it to give birth to the iconic BREAKAWAY JACKET, which was first displayed on the Miami Dolphins.

Starter found its way into pop culture. Some of our fans included: CHUCK D, a member of RUN DMC, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will Smith and NWA. The brand was everywhere.


The movie “Coming to America” features Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall wearing Yankees and Mets Starter Jackets in a scene that would become iconic to this day.

EARLY 1990’S

In the early 1990s, Starter began to expand its distribution networks to reach over 25 countries in North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.


DJ JAZZY JEFF provided ideas and participated in the shooting of two STARTER fun advertisements “Teach you how to wear STARTER hats correctly”.


Became cultural phenomenon in the Sports and Urban Community. Nike CEO Phil Knight offered to buy the company outright. Instead, Beckerman chose to take it public the following year..


Starter was bought by Nike.


Starter was bought by Iconix.


Starter Black label launches as a platform for the iconic Starter Jackets and culturally relevant collaborations with top designers and cult brands.


Launched NCAA collection for apparel and headwear categories for over 120 top NCAA programs.


Starter launches active wear business on Amazon. Starter also develops colab with famed designer brand Acne Studios.


Starter becomes the official brand and uniform maker for the Alliance Football League.

2020 and Beyond

Starter prepares for it’s 50th Year anniversary milestone.