Basketball fans that grew up in the late 1990s and early 2000s are likely to remember the AND1 mixtape tour, which, thanks to an impressive marketing scheme, took the basketball world by storm.
The mixtape tour featured streetball players from all over the country performing dunks, dribbling moves and passes in the context of game play that simply weren’t seen elsewhere.
The players featured in the tapes were exceptionally talented, which is what made the tour work so well. Some, such as Rafer Alston, also known as “Skip to my Lou” in the streetball circuit, were able to make it to the NBA. Others had NBA-level talent, but thrived in the extremely freewheeling style that the mixtape tour offered
Streetball play was a contrast to the comparatively conservative approach of the NBA. The tour was able to gain widespread popularity due to its exciting and unorthodox style, spawning an ESPN spinoff show and its own video game.
The streetball craze has died down substantially over the past decade, as has the popularity of AND 1 products, but thanks to new ownership the brand is looking to bounce back, and the famous “tours” are making a return as well.
Relabeled as the “Live” tour, the AND1 team of streetballers is at it again, albeit with a different roster, traveling from city to city, taking on the town’s top talent.
In addition to the tour, AND1 is pulling out a special surprise this summer. In celebration of the brand’s 20th birthday, they are hosting a weekend long, winner-take-all, “Ultimate Summertime Basketball Tournament,” in Philadelphia.
The tournament, which will take place over Labor Day weekend at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, has open team tryouts and boasts a $100,000 prize for the first-place team.
There will also be a dunk contest, with $10,000 going to the first place participant.
The location of the tournament coincides with the fact that AND1 was founded in Philadelphia.
If you think you have what it takes to enter the tournament and get a shot at $100,000, check out the tryout locations here.
It will certainly be nice to have some exciting basketball action in Philadelphia, even if it is only for a weekend.