Russell Corp., a leading supplier of athletic equipment, announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Itochu Fashion System Co. for the development of the Atlanta company’s Spalding brand in Japan.

The five-year agreement includes all facets of brand building, from product development to distribution, and includes channels of distribution from large scale sporting goods stores to suburban specialty shops, Russell said in a statement. The Spalding name adorns balls for basketball, football, soccer and volleyball.

Spalding President Scott Creelman said in the statement that Itochu Fashion can further Spalding’s stature as a sporting brand. Itochu has a strong reputation for building brands and developing business in Japan, he said.

For more information, call Russell Corp. at (678) 742-8042 or go to