I sat down with Shakir Hammadi to discuss his businesses The Baller Media and Nation Jersey. Here’s what you need to know.
In an interview with the creator of Jersey Nation, here are some views on basketball in Australia. Shakir Hammadi also explains how he built the successful Instagram page, Baller media, and its growth in the establishment Nation Jersey. With 168,000 followers on Instagram, the business has grown massively in a short period of time.
What’s up dude! So you launched The Baller Media, which obviously had a huge success on Instagram (113K followers); how did it come about?
So I started the page in 2019 around June. In fact, I took a lot of inspiration from other pages, like Sideline Sources, and saw the news they publish. So during my time in high school I was like, why don’t you start it and from there it went really well. I started posting news and then the page started gaining followers very, very quickly. I think I made about 100,000 in about a year and I was just posting everyday, consistently posting the news, free agencies, and that was just from there.
Wow, that’s impressive. Does it all come from the fact that you are a fan of the NBA and basketball in general?
Yes, I’m a huge NBA fan, a huge LeBron James fan. I was actually going to make it a LeBron James fan page, but thought it would be best to keep it NBA-wide.
So you evolved a bit from that and started something called Jersey Nation. Could you talk about that a bit?
So I would say about six to seven months after I started The Baller Media, I did Jersey Nation. Having The Baller Media to promote Jersey Nation has helped it soar. With Jersey Nation, we have reached out to many NBA players and celebrities, and it has really helped our brand to grow. We have PJ Dozier; he plays for the Denver Nuggets, he wore one of our jerseys before the game. Also, we had Emmanuel Mudiay, we had DDG pose, which was a lot of money, but totally worth it – it helped the brand a lot.
Wow, that’s impressive. They are big names at the start. I guess this relates directly to The Baller Media, but how did you really decide to start making swimsuits?
I was actually in high school, 17 when I started, and I was working in a supermarket, and I just got fed up. I really wanted to be my own boss. In fact, I contacted about 20 factories and finally found this one. The unique swimsuits they were selling attracted me, then I contacted a freelance designer, I started making a lot of costume swimsuits, and people loved them. Advertising on Facebook, Snapchat, and then switching to Tik Tok have also helped us a lot.
So, for people who are new to the business, is this just jerseys or what is your main product?
Our jerseys range from movie and tv show jerseys, high school jerseys, custom jerseys, hockey jerseys and baseball jerseys. We have a whole range; we have more than 400 (different kinds of jerseys) in our collection.
Would you say this is what sets you apart from other swimsuit sites?
Yes, most definitely, I would say it’s the jerseys. We organize giveaways every week. We’re trying to build a community that can get everyone involved to win free jerseys and things like that.
It’s awesome. So you’re based in Australia, so to touch on some Ben Simmons and Sixers news, what do you think of Ben Simmons’ situation?
Right now I think Ben Simmons isâ€¦ he’s a great player, but it’s really hard to determine what he is. I think, uh, I think he just needs to focus a little more on the basketball side of things. Like what happened in the playoffs, it was different. It’s different from how he first entered the NBA. Statistics show his numbers have plummeted since joining the NBA. It is really difficult to determine what is going on.
Yeah, from my point of view, I really think it’s mental. There has to be something beyond a simple problem on the ground. Do you think there’s a future with Ben Simmons and the Sixers, or do you think it’s time for a change of scenery?
I would say it would be nice to bring him back and see how things go because he made the day at his press conference that he was going to have a big offseason. He also refused to play for Australia so he could focus on developing his skills. I would say it would be nice to bring it back, but a change of scenery wouldn’t hurt. It looks like Philly is in talks with other teams, according to Shams.
Being from Australia, what do you think of his refusal to play for the country. Congratulations to you guys on the recent victory over the USA team as well.
Yeah, honestly I think he refused to play for Australia for a little while now. He said he was, but yes he didn’t. So if he’s working on his skills, I think it’s best for him. This is probably the best move. He knows what’s best for him, so in the end, it’s not too big a deal.
There has been a great growth in basketball in general in Australia when you see all the talent coming out. How awesome is that to see, and do you think you’re capitalizing on the start of it?
Yeah, most definitely. I would say about five years ago the NBA and basketball in general weren’t too big in Australia, but there was a big turning point. I don’t know what it was, but it really grew here. Everyone plays basketball, everyone watches the NBA, so it’s really good to see. This is especially seen with Australian players who have moved on (to the NBA). You have Josh Giddey, with whom we are also about to work through Jersey Nation; he’s about to be drafted. Patty mills, Date Exum, there are a lot of great Australian basketball players.
Yep, it’s great to see how the NBA has become so quickly global. You’ve obviously mentioned a few already, but are there other players you’ve built a relationship with?
Yeah, so we also worked with Nick Young, Jaxson Hayes, Jared Vanderbilt, and we’ve also started working with some of the Last Chance U players– Joe Hampton and Deshaun Higher. We have also reached out to many NCAA athletes now that they are allowing them to be paid. One of the players we will be working with is Greg Brown.
It’s impressive, and it’s another huge opportunity to capitalize on as these are pretty much uncharted waters as far as the NCAA allows that to happen, so definitely a lot of potential there. Do you think this is something that is going to be a more widespread movement when it comes to not only you at Jersey Nation, but all businesses as a whole will attack more:
Yeah, most definitely. As soon as that was enacted so that athletes are paid, you’ve just seen the number of companies contacting them, and NCAA players are happy about that. In fact, I sent out, I’d say 200 to 300 DM to all these NCAA athletes, and we had a good feedback. So in the next few weeks we’re going to be working with them, sending them jerseys and all that.
Would you say that’s your main focus right now, or is there something else on the horizon for Jersey Nation?
Right now, it’s one of our main goals, to work with NCAA athletes. In addition, we are looking to work with the AAU teams and make their jerseys.
Both The Baller Media and Jersey Nation are great Instagram followers, and you can check them out.check out their impressive collection of swimsuits here. It was a great conversation with Shakir and I couldn’t wait to see how his businesses grow in the future.