In Partnership WithJockey
x

Jockey Celebrates ‘Made In America’ Collection Clothing In The Most American Way Possible: With An Epic NASCAR Car

Courtesy of Daylon Barr/Daylon Barr Photography


Can’t get more American than hot dogs, start-up ingenuity, and the thrill of all-left turns racing.

This past April, Jockey International made the exciting announcement that it would be partnering with NASCAR’s Trackhouse Racing to be the primary sponsor on both NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolets driven by Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez. This sponsorship with the two-year-old NASCAR team is the first team sponsorship in Jockey’s 146-year-old history.

The partnership, according to a press release, is to promote Jockey’s “Made in America” Collection, which is manufactured in the United States* and helps promote and support American workers and families. Unlike so many other brands that make their clothing in other countries, Jockey’s Made in America Collection prides itself on premium cotton grown on American farms. That very cotton is spun, woven, and sewn into garments like shirts and socks in American facilities to help reduce its environmental footprint.

Comfortable threads that are grown and sewn in our own backyard? We’re down with that.

Courtesy of Daylon Barr/Daylon Barr Photography


We sat down with Chris Smith, Chief Brand Officer and EVP of Jockey International, to find out more about the Made in America Collection and the company’s relationship with Trackhouse Racing.

Chastain will be racing in the Jockey car at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona on August 27 and the YellaWood 500 at Talladega in October, while Sanchez will be behind the wheel at the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington on September 4.

 

Jockey on the origins of their partnership with NASCAR and Trackhouse…

Courtesy of Daylon Barr/Daylon Barr Photography


Chris: We’ve had a long history in sports marketing over the years. There are black and white pencil-drawn ads of Babe Ruth for one of our first sports marketing ads. And anybody from the 1980s remembers the Jim Palmer Jockey ads that created quite the stir. Fast forward to the present day; there was a NASCAR race last year that occurred at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin that required a sponsor, and we and another local business partner had become co-sponsors of the race for last year and this year. We attended the event, saw the crowd, and said, “You know what? This is something that requires some further examination, further exploration.” It seems to be an ideal platform to tell a brand story and engage with consumers at an event. Allows consumers to get a better feel for who the brand is and what it stands for.

 

On working with Daniel Suarez (below left) and Ross Chastain

Courtesy of Daylon Barr/Daylon Barr Photography


Chris: We signed them right at the start of the season and Ross and Daniel both have interesting stories. Ross is an eighth-generation watermelon farmer and worked his way up to the Cup Series. Daniel is the first Mexican driver to win a major NASCAR Cup Series race. So, Ross had two early victories and Daniel added a third in Sonoma. So there’s been a lot of excitement around the team as they’re pressing towards and pursuing the playoffs. Personality-wise, they are both great fits for Jockey.

On what it means for NASCAR and Trackhouse Racing to highlight the Made in America Collection on a car…

Chris:  Our Made in America initiative had really come to life last fall when we started with T-shirts and socks*. As we were thinking about NASCAR, we thought it would be the ideal place to really highlight that collection as a halo for our brand with this audience. We talked about doing two or three different platforms on the cars. Once we saw the design of the Made in America Collection car, we just settled and said, “This is it – this is the place for us to talk about this.”

On what makes the Made in America Collection ethos so special…

Chris: While we’re a global brand, we actually began reshoring American apparel jobs with our Made in America Collection. This goes all the way from the farmers growing the cotton to the milling of the cotton and converting it into fabric, as well as the sewing of the final garments in locations throughout the United States.

We have the ability to provide great investments in the communities in which our customers work and live, and a lot of our own employees work and live. For me personally, it goes back to the first time I was in our headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I was five years old and on a kindergarten trip with my grandmother. She had sewn at Jockey for 25 years. Her sister, my great aunt, had sewn for 40 years. So to me, it’s kind of a full circle coming back off of a family tradition and being a family-held company and it just feels like it’s hitting all the right notes.

On the future of the Jockey Made in America Collection and its relationship with Trackhouse…

Chris: The Made in America Collection has had great acceptance from consumers. And while it’s primarily T-shirts and socks* right now, we can actually see the portfolio of products that are Made in America broadening to more aspects of our line. As the market is asking for these products, we want to be there and be able to provide them and create the community impact that comes from having good jobs in communities.

Rev. Samuel T. Cooper started his business (now Jockey) as a sock company to provide better socks for lumberjacks of the day. So, it goes back to our innovative roots to do something different than the rest of the industry and find a better way to do things. And it’s one of the really interesting origin stories of Trackhouse.

Trackhouse was very instrumental in getting into NASCAR with the Next Gen car and running a competitive race with Next Gen standardized parts. It kind of leveled the playing field for all the teams. So it’s funny when we were at the partner summit with Trackhouse back at the end of June, Ty Norris, the president of Trackhouse goes, “Everybody wonders about our two-year-old company and this 146-year-old Jockey company, they wonder how we got together.” And it’s like, “We both have common DNA and want to make things better and challenge the status quo.” And he says, “Combined, we’re now a 148-year-old company.”

Be sure to look out for Ross and Daniel this fall racing in the Jockey Made in America car!

SHOP JOCKEY’S MADE IN AMERICA COLLECTION

*Made in America Socks are made in the USA with American cotton and imported materials

The BroBible team writes about gear that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.