American Athletic, Inc. was founded in 1954, and this iconic brand has enjoyed a rich history due to innovative ideas and a commitment to excellence ever since.

In 2004, Russell Brands, LLC acquired American Athletic, Inc. (“AAI”), located in Jefferson, Iowa, and consolidated its Spalding® equipment, namely basketball systems, volleyball systems and gymnasium equipment, under one roof, alongside AAI®’s gymnastic and cheer equipment products. In this way, the Spalding® brand was paired with AAI’s 60 years of equipment expertise in manufacturing world-class athletic equipment. Today, the company continues to pursue perfection in quality and customer service to achieve timeless dedication and trusted

Take a look back at AAI’s heritage:

Since the brand’s creation, AAI has experienced exponential growth in both its product lines as well as in its influence in the gymnastics community. Here are some of the brand’s most important accomplishments:

  • The only U.S. equipment manufacturer to have gymnastics products tested and approved by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, or FIG, the world’s governing body for the sport
  • Operating continuously in the same plant in Jefferson, Iowa
  • Establishing the AAI® Award to recognize the most outstanding senior female gymnast in the US
  • Expanding into the cheerleading market, with many new products aimed to help cheer programs around the country
  • Extending it’s competitive trampoline products by partnering with Eurotramp® Trampoline to
    make AAI the exclusive distributor in the United States
  • Introducing new kid-friendly ninja products while entering the fitness market
  • Creating a HandStand Obstacle course that connects the gymnastic & fitness worlds


AAI® products have been the foundation of most historic events in gymnastics history. The dedication of our employees to the sport and their relentless efforts have enabled the most renowned gymnasts to reach new heights. The famous AAI® logo has been the backdrop to some of the most renowned gymnastics events, including:

  • 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games
  • 1976 and 2008 Olympic Trials
  • 1991, 1999, 2003, and 2014  World Gymnastics Championships
  • 2014 Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships
  • USA Gymnastics National Championships since 1972
  • American Cup since 1974

Today, AAI is the official equipment supplier to USA Gymnastics®, NCAA® Gymnastics Championships, the YMCA® National Championships, the Nadia Comaneci International Invitational, the Bart Connor Invitational, as well as the exclusive equipment to the USAIGC/IAIGC World Championships and the THSGCA. AAI is also an official supporter of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Employee Memories

The AAI family includes many life-long employees. This family-oriented longevity is created by common goals and a commitment to shared success. Some long-time employees reflect on their years at AAI: