Brand History - Nutmeg Mills

The Story of Nutmeg Mills

Nutmeg Mills

Established in the early 1980s by brothers Martin and Richard Jacobson, Nutmeg Mills breathed fresh life into sports merchandising across all major US sports leagues. Their signature large, bold fonts and captivating illustrations adorned T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other pieces, providing fans of all major US sports ways to show their team pride with a fresh style.

The Jacobson brothers' journey began with humble roots. Working for their father's company, they ventured into retail, establishing outlets along the East Coast before divesting in the mid to late 1970s. Armed with the proceeds, they seized an opportunity in Tampa, Florida, investing in a women's and junior sports apparel business. Swiftly acquiring the business, they reshaped it to embody their vision, aptly named after their home state's signature —the Nutmeg State.

Vintage Connecticut The Nutmeg State Window Decal | eBay

Pioneers of Licensing

From a young age, the brothers showcased their entrepreneurial prowess. At just 15, Richard spearheaded an initiative to sell sports pennants outside Yale University games in New Haven, Connecticut, laying the foundation for their future endeavors.

Fast forward to the 1980s, Richard and Martin capitalized on the untapped market of collegiate sports apparel. Their partnership with the University of Florida marked the beginning of Nutmeg Mills' ascent to prominence.

Vintage Nutmeg Mills Florida Gators Graphic Sweatshirt Size Medium USA |  eBay

The company rapidly expanded, securing licensing deals with esteemed institutions like UF, Florida State, and Michigan. In a testament to their success, Nutmeg emerged as the highest royalty payer to colleges nationwide and within their second year of operation, Nutmeg was heading straight towards the professional leagues.

Former Nutmeg Mills chairman built a T-shirt empire out of Tampa

Transition to the Big Leagues

In 1981, Nutmeg Mills secured its first professional sports partnership with the NBA, pioneering the way for future collaborations. Subsequent licensing deals with MLB, NHL, and eventually the NFL solidified Nutmeg's status as a powerhouse in sports merchandising.

Nutmeg Mills Stats Crew ShirtNutmeg Mills Stats Crew Shirt

The Legacy Continues

After years of unparalleled success, the Jacobson brothers recognized the opportune moment to pass the torch. In January 1994, they made the decision to sell Nutmeg Mills to an organization titled 'VF Corporation'.

By 2000, Nutmeg was consolidated into another division of VF, and Nutmeg Mills basically ceased to exist. Such was the end of the iconic, Nutmeg Mills.

You can find Nutmeg pieces in our store by clicking here

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published