Over the past several weeks, the country has collectively tuned into ESPN’s documentary series titled The Captain. While fans relieve Derek Jeter’s historic career, the New York Yankees legend keeps looking forward.
Jeter is further away from baseball than ever before. Instead of spending his days at the stadium, the 48-year-old’s schedule revolves around his family and business. However, the attention to detail that propelled Jeter to Cooperstown is now helping his new company disrupt the performance apparel industry.
This year, Jeter and UNTUCKit Founder Chris Riccobono teamed up with American Ballet Theater Principal Dancer Misty Copeland as well as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to launch Greatness Wins. The upstart brand specializes in athletic wear for the modern athlete.
For 20 seasons, Jeter carried himself with an unmistakable level of confidence. The Captain’s cool demeanor never wavered because he had put in the work. Now the 5x World Series champion leads a new star-studded team through a competitive market. Greatness Wins is the latest example of Jeter’s commitment to excellence.
What inspired you and UNTUCKit Founder Chris Riccobono (along with Misty Copeland and Wayne Gretzky) to team up on Greatness Wins?
“I’ve always had a lot of different ideas about what could be improved with the product in the athletic space. When I met Chris, and we started conceptualizing Greatness Wins, we wanted to focus on bringing quality fabrics and technical performance to the brand and in all of our products. Chris comes armed with a decade’s worth of e-commerce experience as the founder of UNTUCKit and the passion to launch and create a unique apparel company.
Partnering together, along with Misty and Wayne, was a no-brainer. When we talked about someone to lead our upcoming women’s line, Misty was absolutely the first female athlete that came to mind. She has an amazing story and work ethic and truly defines what greatness means, and as ‘The Great One,’ Wayne is focused on our golf line and taking that category to the next level. We’re all excited about what we’ve built together.”
The performance sportswear market is competitive. What makes Greatness Wins stand out?
“We fill a unique niche with the fabrics we are using coupled with our price point. Our clothing is designed with innovative technical fabrics that work hard, wash well, and actually last. Greatness Wins is about quality, fit, and performance above all else .”
I read that the goal was to stay away from the athleisure trend and focus more on performance. Do you believe durability is an area where other brands are lacking?
“We place an extremely high priority on performance and on making product that stands up to the demands of high performance. We also rigorously test every aspect of the fabric, including pilling, abrasion resistance, shrinkage, and more. Quality, performance, and fit is most important to us. Not only the initial fit but the consistency of the fit each time it’s worn and washed.”
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Do you ever sit back and wish that Greatness Wins was around during your playing days?
“As athletes, I think we always want the best, so I think it would have been great to have access to what we’re creating here at Greatness Wins during my baseball career. But when I was playing, I never would have been able to give the company the attention I’m able to now, and being involved at that high level is really important to me.”
What does your day-to-day role look like in the company? You don’t seem like the type of partner to sit on the sidelines.
“Day-to-day, I am extremely involved in the design process of each collection, working closely with our design team on the overall vision and goals for the brand as well as our marketing strategies for our upcoming lines. We have a lot of exciting ideas that we will implement over the next few seasons.”
The company is expanding rapidly. There is a women’s collection releasing in Spring 2023. What do you see as the future of Greatness Wins?
“We’re excited about the vision that Misty and the team have for the women’s line of Greatness Wins and want to continue to grow in an intentional way across both our men’s and women’s lines.
Throughout, we’re going to remain very focused on our core mission of providing top-quality performance items, but there’s tremendous growth potential in terms of styles, products, athletic areas of focus, etc. We are looking to be very responsive to the needs of our audience.”
This is an unfair question. You were a part of five World Series championship teams. Is there one that stands out above the rest?
“That’s like asking someone to name their favorite child – even if you have one, you’re never going to say it out loud.”
Last question, what advice do you give to other sleep-deprived fathers out there?
“Get used to it! I think we’ll all be sleep-deprived for a while! But also, I think we all can feel pretty lucky about the reason we’re a little sleep-deprived. Being a father is a special kind of joy.”
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