Derek Jeter, Wayne Gretzky and Misty Copeland launched a sportswear brand

In the crowded sportswear space, perhaps the best and only way for a startup to make waves and capture market share is to dramatically up the ante when it comes to fit and performance. Walk in greatness winsa new venture started by UNTUCKit founder Chris Riccobono, along with MLB Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, ballet dancer Misty Copeland and ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.

By leveraging the design and construction knowledge of pro-athletes, Greatness Wins aims to fill a niche in the sportswear market: producing premium performance apparel with consistent quality control and fit, in an increasingly important aspect of the manufacturing process, especially in today’s consumer-centric economy.

“We have a plan to cover everything from football to tennis to all sports,” Riccobono told Fast Company. “I had heard from athletes that the quality was no longer there. With huge sports brands, specs are everywhere. And then you have athleisure, where the quality is really excellent. The problem with them is that they are not made for training.

[Photo: Courtesy Greatness Wins]

Greatness Wins debuted online in late July with a men’s collection featuring tops, bottoms and accessories including socks and hats. The womenswear, which will be created with guidance from Copeland, is set to launch in 2023.

“I see this collection as an evolution of my dancing career, my entrepreneurship and my life as a whole,” says Copeland. “The women’s line will focus on designing products that are functional, supportive, stylish and using high quality, durable materials.”

The brand has kept sustainability at the forefront of manufacturing at all levels, with 98% of its base materials being Bluesign Where Oeko-Tex and 80% of its shorts made with recycled materials.

“All of our products focus on performance, durability and fabric quality above all else,” Jeter told Fast Company. “I only wanted to build a brand if I knew we could offer something better than what was already available to buyers. I am extremely involved in the design and creative direction of our products, working closely with our management and design teams throughout the process.

[Photo: Courtesy Greatness Wins]

Jeter says greatness wins Core Tech Quarter Zip Top as one of his favorites. “We designed the quarter-zip to be breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying, and the front-zip lets you get extra ventilation as you warm up throughout your workout,” says -he. “It’s a great diaper for my daily workouts like weightlifting and cross-training, and honestly for chasing after my three daughters.”

Gretzy, who has oriented his sports activities towards golf since retiring from professional ice hockey in 1999, particularly likes the brand’s products. Clubhouse pants. “They’re great for spending the day outdoors, with fabric that’s both UPF 40 and water repellent, ensuring you’re comfortable no matter the weather,” he told Fast Company. “The last thing you want to think about in the middle of a round of golf is your clothes, so we made sure the pants look classic, but are lightweight and actually move with you.”

[Photo: Courtesy Greatness Wins]

As for the unconventional brand name, Greatness Wins strays from monikers coined by space greats, such as Nike, Adidas, Lululemon and Gymshark – Riccobono says the choice was intentionally literal.

“When I came up with the name UNTUCKit, every single person in the fashion and design world said it was the worst name you could ever come up with,” he says, but, ultimately, “c It was the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I knew that if I ever launched a new brand, I wasn’t going to have a simple name where you can’t figure out what it’s about. When you you’re fighting for marketing dollars, you need something that’s going to say, wow what the hell is this Greatness Wins, it’s a sportswear brand

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