Russell Corporation has inked a deal to acquire the assets of American Athletic, Inc. for $13 million. The move is seen as a nice fit with RML’s recently-acquired Spalding business and offers a complementary hardlines component to the inflatables business.

AAI, which was founded in 1954 and is based in Jefferson, IA , specializes primarily in basketball, volleyball, and gym equipment. AAI picked up the basketball component when it acquired Basketball Products International in 1996. The company operates three plants and employs approximately 150 people.

American Athletic is projected to have approximately $20 million to $22 million in sales in 2004. The deal is not expected to have any significant impact on Russell's earnings for the year.

AAI supplies athletic equipment to a variety of venues, including stadiums for 12 National Basketball Association teams and more than 100 NCAA schools. Spalding is the official basketball of the NBA and Russell Athletic outfits more than 200 Division I teams in the NCAA.