Sometime soon the baseballs and basketballs used at schools around Alaska may bear the name of Tribal Sports. That’s a new brand created by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Baden Sports, a Seattle-based sports equipment manufacturing company. The joint venture was announced this month in Sitka (6-3-15).
KCAW’s Vanessa Walker has more:
Although the plan is to market this brand nationwide, there’s a broader mission besides using the gear in just school sports.
Local youth will be part of running Tribal Sports. Students will sit on an advisory board especially for them, and have a voice in business and community decisions.
General manager Lawrence Spottedbird says Tribal Sports will help make kids better citizens.
“We want to nurture that positive exposure to life, and take that into their future as young leaders. Become athletes, become leaders, become business people. And eventually as they grow older, become leaders of the tribe. Become leaders in this community. Become assembly people. Become elected officials. Again, teach them that there’s no limitations to what they can do themselves,” he said.
He says portions of Tribal Sports’ proceeds will go toward helping local youth fund out of town travel for sports and extracurricular activities, which is a major goal for the company.
“We’re not just about selling balls and making a profit. We’re going to use those monies, not to pay dividends to shareholders, we’re going to use those monies to support our youth,” Spottedbird said. “For instance, here in Sitka, it’s expensive to participate in sports or in any curricular activity. We want to raise money to help any youth that wants to participate do so and not worry about the financial burden,” he said.
The new logo features a hand with a pointed index finger, in a traditional Northwest Coast formline design. It was created by the Tlingit and Aleut artist Nicholas Galanin.