L.L.Bean and Craft Sportswear North America 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.”