JL Racing Named USRowing’s Official Outfitter and Apparel Supplier
By USRowing Staff • May 3, 2018
USRowing is excited to announce a new, three-year partnership with JL Racing to become the organization’s Official Outfitter and Apparel Supplier through 2020.
JL, along with its partners from Wild Oar Crew, will provide full apparel kits for all U.S. national teams, training kits for the USRowing National Training Centers, and will be the exclusive apparel licensee for all USRowing official team wear and USRowing apparel merchandise.
“We are excited about our new partnership with JL Racing, a long-time leader in training and racing apparel in the rowing world,” said USRowing Chief Executive Officer Patrick McNerney. “Working with its partner, Wild Oar Crew, JL not only will provide all of our national teams with an outstanding gear kit in which to train and compete, it will create a new, unique, and innovative collection of USRowing-branded apparel for rowers and fans alike.”
A family-owned business, run and staffed by athletes, JL Racing has been designing, engineering, and manufacturing technical training and racing clothing for more than 30 years. Started by Joline Esparza in the early 1980s when she was training and competing for the U.S. team, JL has developed into a full-service sports apparel company specializing in customized uniforms for training and racing.
“Personally, I am thrilled to get to know this generation of elite athletes and to have our brand on some of the best rowers in the world.” said Esparza, owner of JL. “In all honesty, it is the big picture that draws us to partner with USRowing. We feel that bringing JL’s community involvement and communication strengths to the party gives us a chance to help grow rowing — to broaden the appeal of our sport, to be more than just a clothing supplier.”
Wild Oar is a team of MIT grads, NASA biomechanics experts, and premier custom technical manufacturers working together to pioneer garment construction, technology, and textiles specifically for the rowing industry.
“Our newest partner is a family-owned business established in Westport, Conn., with a factory in an American Park in El Salvador,” Esparza said. “We spent a lot of time with the founders, husband and wife team Jonathan and Kellen, and visited their operations. We were amazed that another business could follow the same socially responsible path as ours, given the scale of their operation. Their facility is incredible, with cutting-edge, sustainable practices, bluesign® certified fabrics, and their workers have some of the most sought-after jobs in the region.”
Rowers and their fans will see a new USRowing online store showcasing both Wild Oar and JL products, which is scheduled to go live within the next month. An introductory collection is available in the pre-order team store. JL also will attend dozens of nationwide regattas and rowing events where USRowing-licensed merchandise will be sold.
Fifteen companies were invited to submit proposals during the RFP process, with JL Racing’s comprehensive plan being the clear winner from the six submitted bids.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Joline, a favorite among rowers and a tenacious advocate in the rowing community,” said Susan Smith, USRowing Chief Domestic Officer. “JL’s collaboration with Wild Oar Crew adds a whole new dimension of custom technical apparel and athleisure wear to its already full line of technical training and racing clothing — a truly unique advancement for rowing apparel. And, you’ll find it all in the brand new collection of USRowing gear rolling out in the next couple months at regattas, online and worn by our national athletes. Stay tuned!”
USRowing will continue to work with N&D Sports as our Official Event Merchandiser and would like to thank Boathouse Sports for its nine-year partnership as team outfitter and merchandiser from 2009-2017.
The first USRowing pre-order collection is now available with a limited time, 10% discount. Click here to place an order.