On the weekend of January 29, 2021, the top college football stars from around the country gathered at the University of South Alabama to show NFL draft prospects what they bring to the field. Reese’s Senior Bowl is an annual event that connects top college talent with coaches and decision-makers from all 32 NFL teams––a huge turning point for many of the young athletes.
When the team at Swet Tailor was invited to partner with the event, they saw a unique opportunity to get to know (and dress!) the future of football. CEOs Adam Bolden and David Kranz packed up a big bag of their favorite Swet styles and made sure the students were dressed right all weekend long.
The synergy was undeniable. The Swet team was enormously inspired by the athletes, and the athletes felt seen and heard by the casualwear brand. For an in-depth recap of the weekend, we got in touch with Bolden and Kranz to learn more about the event, their participation, and exactly how much the athletes loved all things Swet.
Here’s what they said:
What is the Senior Bowl?
AB: The Senior Bowl brings together the graduating senior athletes from colleges around the country and divides them into two teams for an all-star game, but it’s so much more than just that. Leading up to the event, the 150+ players spend a week working with professional coaching staff, improving their game, and learning the logistics of being an NFL player. It’s an incredible prep experience for the athletes and a pivotal moment in their careers.
How did Swet Tailor get involved with the Senior Bowl?
AB: One of our strategic advisors had worked with the Senior Bowl staff in the past, and they were looking for an off-the-field clothing sponsor.
DK: Off-the-field clothing refers to exactly that––what the athletes wear when they’re not training or playing. We were brought in, because of how well our casualwear adapts to athletes’ bodies, without actually being athletic wear. The Senior Bowl committee was especially interested in our High and Mighty collection, because many of their athletes don’t fit the “medium” and “large” sizing of traditional brands. The athletes we worked with at the Senior Bowl ranged in height from 6’1 to 6’8 and 180-380 pounds.
AB: The Senior Bowl recognized that we had something different to offer than more established athletic brands. While Nike and Adidas make incredible athleticwear, Swet Tailor designs clothes players can live in––on or off the field. We really appreciate that The Senior Bowl understands what we’re doing as a brand.
How was the event?
AB: It exceeded our expectations! We were planning to provide clothes, we weren’t expecting to see the athletes wearing them from meetings to practices to meals and everything in between. They were wearing our gear almost every single day. It was a huge validation for us.
DK: We set up a big booth in the main area and were able to help dress each player with a broad assortment of our styles. They kept coming back, requesting something new for their upcoming meetings, seminars, and practices. The bigger and taller athletes were especially responsive to our High and Mighty line. We kept hearing “I don’t have anything like this.”
What was your favorite part of the weekend?
AB: I think David and I can both agree that the Friday photoshoot was the standout moment of the weekend for us. We got to see every player decked out head to toe in Swet Tailor. We also had the opportunity to throw a football around with the amazing athletes and get to know them, without any expectations on either side.
DK: We got to know so much more about each and every player: where they’re from, what’s important to them. It was nice getting to know them as people and not just as athletes. Discussing our product with them was almost effortless. They were genuinely interested in talking about what they like to wear.
What styles were the most popular with the student athletes?
DK: It was pretty obvious that the SWET-Hoodie and SWET Jogger were the real crowd pleasers, because we saw the athletes in them all weekend. The Active Short, became a hit on the field, as did the branded SWET hats.
Did you learn anything new about your brand while working with the athletes?
DK: It was surprising to see the players working out in our clothes. We designed Swet Tailor primarily as casualwear, so it goes to show just how breathable and moveable the styles really are.
AB: It was really nice to see the crossover of athletes wearing Swet styles for working out and going about their day. They were only expected to wear the clothes for the photo shoot on Friday, but we caught them in Swet gear the whole weekend. Fortunately, we had enough extra clothing to keep up with them coming back for more.
DK: A number of coaches showed interest too. We’re enjoyed supporting an entire athletic community, across all ages and professions.
Athletes are the perfect match for your newly introduced High and Mighty Line. What was the response to the wide range of sizing?
AB: I think the testimonials speak for themselves. Here are a few of our favorite words of feedback from the athletes themselves:
“It’s hard to find things that fit athletes that are comfortable and you can also go out in. Clothes are either super nice or super comfortable; it’s hard to find a balance. I can see that Swet Tailor is a bit of both. I love it.” –– Sam Ehlinger, Quarterback, Texas Longhorns
“These are the comfiest clothes I’ve ever worn in my life. I’m going to have to get more for sure––about to make Swet Tailor my whole wardrobe. Finally having a brand that fits big guys is huge!” –– Spencer Brown, Offensive Line for University of Northern Iowa
What’s your #1 piece of style advice for student athletes?
DK: The more comfortable you feel in your clothes the more confident you’ll be. Opt for high quality clothes you can move in, so you don’t have to buy as much (which can be especially important on a student budget). You’ve got a busy schedule full of classes, practices, going out, and planning for your future––you need clothes that keep up!
The pandemic is a tough time for graduating seniors, so it’s very important that the athletes were able to have this opportunity. How was the event handled in terms of safety?
AB: The Senior Bowl team, namely Jim Nagy, Elizabeth Dupreee, and Lauren Taylor, not only made sure our brand was well supported, but that every safety precaution was taken.
DK: The event was contained to limited entry, masks were required throughout the week, meetings were distanced, dinners were packaged to-go, and everyone was tested twice per day (for a total for 3,635 tests). We are very grateful for the Senior Bowl’s diligence and dedication to making sure these athletes got their chance in the spotlight.
Senior Bowl was an opportunity for Swet Tailor to connect with the kind of ambitious, busy, go-getting men who inspire their brand. Bolden and Kranz look forward to more feedback from the student athletes, so they can continue to hone their styles to meet the needs of these down-to-earth dudes.