PARK CITY, UT (Oct. 19, 2015) – Over the past decade the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team have taken pride in their dramatic growth to become highly competitive teams in the sport. Monday, that pride was evident as athletes donned brand new uniforms in anticipation of the upcoming World Cup season from first-year partners L.L.Bean and CRAFT Sportswear.
Over two dozen athletes and coaches gathered at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence training facility in Park City as leaders from L.L.Bean and CRAFT unveiled the 2015-16 uniform kits for the athletes, handing out full sets of winter training wear, warmup clothing, outerwear and competition suits.
It’s the first year of the unique uniform partnership with 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. L.L.Bean is providing insulated outerwear and rainwear, as well as casual products and competition hats. CRAFT has developed customized World Cup and Olympic race suits and performance jackets and pants. The Team has been working out this summer in training wear from both companies.
One of the innovative elements of the partnership has been the close working relationship between the teams’ world class Olympic athletes and L.L.Bean and CRAFT, allowing the athletes to be a part of the performance design process.
“I’ve really been looking forward to the uniform unveiling,” said World Champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK). “L.L.Bean and CRAFT have spent a lot of time working with us to design and provide us with products that we need to perform on the World Cup. It’s so exciting to be kicking off this season with the enthusiasm of two great companies.”
“The team has been fired up for today’s official unveiling of our new L.L.Bean and CRAFT uniforms,” said top-ranked cross country sprinter Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT). “This is the first time we’ve been able to work so closely in the design and functionality of our gear, so there is a lot of team pride involved in our uniforming this year.”
“The clothing presentation from L.L.Bean and CRAFT is a great way to kick off the season” said U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team member Bryan Fletcher. “Having all the athletes from both cross country and nordic combined there to discover the new gear for the first time is exciting and really makes the season feel like it’s upon us.”
L.L.Bean provided over 25 different uniform pieces for the athletes, including base layers, custom-made insulated pants, winter training gear and team-branded outerwear.
The centerpiece of CRAFT’s 13-piece competition wear set is the racing suits from its Podium Collection, featuring innovative design and thermal regulation properties resulting from extensive research and development. One of the most important elements is CRAFT’s Moving Wing Technology TM, a wing-like design across the back that helps not only helps regulate the athletes’ core body temperature, but also allows skiers to move more freely and unleash their power into the ski track.
“Clothing is a major factor in our sport today,” said Head Cross Country Coach Chris Grover. “It’s a unique balance of comfort and performance, which is especially important given the high level of athleticism required to win and the extreme, variable weather conditions we face both in training and competition.”
Much of the L.L.Bean and CRAFT gear that the athletes will wear this season will also be available to the public.
“It’s going to be really special that the entire U.S. ski community will have access to all of the same great products being used by the national team,” said Randall. “Fans will now be able to show their support by sporting their new U.S. Ski Team L.L.Bean and CRAFT Sportswear gear.”
The cross country team is in the midst of its final dryland camp in Park City before heading to its opening World Cup Nov. 27-29 in Ruka, Finland. The nordic combined team just returned from a training camp in Slovenia and opens its World Cup tour Nov. 28-29 in Ruka.
Over two dozen proud athletes and coaches from the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team were on hand for the unveiling of the 2015-16 team uniforms on Monday, Oct. 19 at the team’s Center of Excellence training center in Park City, UT.
The team welcomed leaders from its uniforming partners L.L.Bean and CRAFT Sportswear.
As a part of the unique partnership, team athletes played a key role in the development of the performance gear from both companies.
Fans of the U.S. Ski Team will be able to purchase much of the same gear from L.L.Bean and CRAFT.
U.S. SKI TEAM UNIFORMING
Highlighted L.L.Bean U.S. Ski Team Uniform Products
Wind Challenger Down Jacket
Insulated Pant (custom made for U.S. Ski Team)
Polypro Base Layer
Ultralight 850 Down Sweater Jacket & Vest
Bean’s Sweater Fleece Pullover
Women’s Trail Tech Quarter-Zip
Men’s Crosswinds Training Tee
Men’s Wool Tek FZ
CRAFT Sportswear U.S. Ski Team Uniform Products
Podium Collection line:
Active Extreme Baselayers
Active Extreme Windstopper Baselayers
Active Comfort Baselayers
Podium Race Suits
Podium Jacket and Pants
High Function Vests and Pants
Hydration Drink Belt
Kikkan Randall, U.S. Cross Country Ski Team
I’ve really been looking forward to the uniform unveiling. L.L.Bean and CRAFT have spent a lot of time working with us to design and provide us with products that we need to perform on the World Cup. It’s so exciting to be kicking off this season with the enthusiasm of two great companies.
It’s going to be really special that the entire U.S. ski community will have access to many of the same great products being used by the national team. Fans will now be able to show their support by sporting their new U.S. Ski Team L.L.Bean and CRAFT gear.
Andy Newell, U.S. Cross Country Ski Team
The team has been fired up for the official unveiling of our new L.L.Bean and CRAFT uniforms. This is the first time we’ve been able to work so closely in the design and functionality of our gear so there is a lot of team pride involved in our uniforming this year.
For me personally, I couldn’t be more proud to be representing L.L.Bean, a brand that has been a staple in the New England skiing community since my youth skiing days. The whole team is stoked to be partnering with these two companies – L.L. Bean for its wide variety of outerwear and CRAFT for its World Cup and Olympic-proven baselayers, race suits and training outerwear. We’ve all worked together to come up with a kit that will look cool and help display our team pride.
Bryan Fletcher, U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team
Both L.L.Bean and CRAFT have long-standing records of making great products – our teams can trust this reputation! We can go into the season confident that our gear will be functional for our specific needs, fit well and withstand all that mother nature can throw at us. Personally, I am really excited for the new partnership with L.L. Bean and CRAFT.
The clothing presentation from L.L.Bean and CRAFT is a great way to kick off the season. Having all the athletes from both cross country and nordic combined there to discover the new gear for the first time is exciting and really makes the season feel like it’s upon us.
About L.L.Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel 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. Still family owned, Shawn Gorman, great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2013. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 220,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.
About CRAFT Sportswear
CRAFT Sportswear is a Swedish brand specializing in clothing for endurance sports where performance and comfort are crucial for a good result. Founded in 1973, CRAFT Sportswear is a product of sweat and pain, of wind and rain, of falling and rising, and the euphoria experienced when pushing endurance limits. Whether at the Olympics or at home, in the woods or in the streets, CRAFT always aims for optimal performance. Craft specializes in clothing for endurance sports where performance and comfort are crucial for a good result. Working closely with elite athletes and constantly developing new materials and technical solutions, Craft offers cutting-edge training and competition apparel. Learn more about CRAFT Sportswear at www.craftsports.us, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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