The Athletic is back! The Athletic is BACK!
Since the second I saw that The Athletic was shutting down, I had this crazy vision to help keep the community alive. DMs were sent and an average copywriter dude with a passion for socks started crunching the numbers and thinking about what it might look like to fully send it and relaunch a business.
Along the way, the Zoom calls I had with Jeremy and Julie kept us all a little sane and plenty crazy during quarantine time. The meetings I had with my design idols at Young Jerks showed me that maybe my kooky taste for armadillos and Willie Nelson and sports and the American Heartland could resonate with people on a deep level. Incredibly kind people across all different industries walked me through where socks come from, how to turn a flat file into a real live patch you can iron on your bar bag, and the things that a community can mean to us.
When I saw the Instagram posts about The Athletic shutting down, I thought, “Where am I going to buy my socks?!” And then I realized that what I would miss the most was this little slice of the internet and cycling culture that slapped fun designs on the most accessible piece of kit we wear and turned it into a movement. When I got the keys to the Instagram account, what kept me going on the dark and scary days of entrepreneurship was reposting stories people tagged us in, DMs about wearing tattered socks for first marathons and last big trips before the global lockdown.
Look, there are a zillion easier ways to make money than selling high design, made in the USA socks and bike accessories. The thing is, life is short and beautiful and scary and difficult and I long for a sense of connection to something bigger than myself. The bicycle has given me so much and it is my goal to give myself back to this community in every way imaginable.
No matter what you ride, where you ride, or how you ride, The Athletic Community is a place to belong. A celebration of movement, connectivity, freedom, and overcoming all the things that may get in our way.
(Re)launching this brand is the most exciting and scary thing I have ever been a part of. The supply chain and pandemic-related chaos have made this process slower than I ever imagined, and yet as the on-sale date approaches, it feels like everything is happening impossibly fast.
I am sincerely honored to share the new Athletic with the world. We aspire to build a community that listens, honors, and grows alongside each of you. I made 200 patches because 3 people sent me DMs requesting patches as part of our first drop. This whole idea is so crazy it just might work.
See you out there,
John + Hank