L.L.Bean and CRAFT to design and develop new technical and active outerwear for the U.S. Cross Country and Nordic Combined Ski Teams
Freeport, ME and Beverly, MA (March 31, 2015) — L.L.Bean, a leading outdoor equipment and apparel designer and merchant and CRAFT Sportswear North America, renowned for its cutting edge technology in world class competition and training wear, today announced a multi-year partnership with the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team.
As official supplier to the U.S. Ski Team, L.L.Bean will provide insulated outerwear and rainwear, as well as casual products and hats. CRAFT will develop customized World Cup and Olympic race suits and performance jackets and pants. Both companies will share responsibility for summer training products and base layers.
“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to be an official sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team,” says Eric Schenker, CEO of CRAFT Sportswear North America. “It fires me up to think that Team USA will now join Sweden and other top national teams in representing the CRAFT Sportswear brand on the World Cup and Olympic stage. This confirms that we are producing the world’s most technical and functional apparel and will continue to grow and reinforce this by working closely with these amazing athletes and L.L.Bean.”
The U.S Nordic Ski Team has historically posted strong performances on World Cup and World Championship circuits. Caitlin Gregg and Jessie Diggins took home silver and bronze medals in the 10K freestyle at this year’s FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Nordic combined skier Bryan Fletcher scored a personal best at Falun 2015, finishing fifth in the large hill event. Several of the athletes have multiple World Cup podiums, World Championship medals and Olympic medals, including Olympic Champion Billy Demong and 13-time World Cup winner Kikkan Randall.
L.L.Bean has been partnering with Randall, the most decorated cross country skier in U.S. history, for the past two years. “At the urging of Kikkan, the U.S. Ski Team reached out to L.L.Bean to further this partnership with the entire team,” said Steve Fuller, L.L.Bean Chief Marketing Officer. “This is great recognition of our quality outdoor products as well as our mission to get more kids and families outdoors and active.”
“It’s been great working with L.L.Bean and their development team,” said Randall. “They’ve been really responsive to feedback on products from athletes. Product performance and design is an important aspect of our sport, so we’re lucky to have such great products available through L.L.Bean.”
“When given the chance to partner on this sponsorship with L.L.Bean, the decision was easy,” Schenker said. “CRAFT and L.L.Bean have worked together for over a decade and this will only strengthen that bond. Cross country skiing is in the DNA of our brands and together we will be able to support the athletes with the best possible products from every category.”
The partnership between L.L.Bean, CRAFT and the U.S. Ski Team will continue through the 2018 Olympic season.
The combination of the two iconic companies is ideal for the cross country team,” said U.S. Ski Team head cross country coach Chris Grover. “An important part of the athletes’ success on the track depends on the performance of their uniform. With L.L.Bean and CRAFT, we get the experience, the know-how, and the high-end performance that we need to make sure the athletes can ski to their potential. We have big goals in place for Pyeongchang 2018 and L.L.Bean and CRAFT will be important partners in helping us achieve those goals.”
About L.L.Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multi-channel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown substantially, the company remains committed to the same honest principles upon which it was built – a focus on the customer, continuous product improvement and innovation, respect for people, preservation of the natural environment and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free. The 220,000 sq. ft. Flagship campus of stores in Freeport, Maine is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than three million visitors each year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at llbean.com. Join L.L.Bean on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
CRAFT is the pioneer of functional apparel for serious athletes. Since 1977 CRAFT has devoted itself to developing innovative clothing built to withstand extreme weather in all conditions. CRAFT works closely with its many sponsored athletes and national teams, and focuses on designing the highest performance gear. The brand’s foundation is its authentic understanding and love for the sporting culture, reflected in its strong involvement in cross-country skiing, biking, running and alpine skiing. Constantly working on optimizing construction technologies and innovative materials, CRAFT sportswear is the ideal training and competition gear for all activities year-round. For more information on CRAFT in North America, visit www.craftsports.us.
About U.S. Ski Team
The U.S. Ski Team, as part of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), develops and maintains teams of world-class athletes for national and international competition, including the Olympic Winter Games. The U.S. Ski Team selects teams in all sports for major events such as the Olympics and World Championships as well as annual teams in many Olympic disciplines. The U.S. Ski Team coordinates nationwide development and elite programs for all competitive skiing sports while maintaining a strong adherence to core values. For more information, visit http://usskiteam.com/nordic