ZUG, Switzerland (BRAIN)—Specialized is teaming with Vancouver-based women’s yoga and running apparel ace lululemon athletica to co-sponsor the former HTC-Highroad women’s team.
Titled Team Specialized lululemon, the team picks up where HTC-Highroad left off last year with a large percentage of the same riders, and will be under the management of Kristy Scrymgeour, who previously worked with Bob Stapleton on High Road. The High Road squad disbanded after last season when Stapleton was unable to secure new title sponsorship.
The move is one hailed by Specialized as an opportunity to attract new female riders to cycling by tapping into lululemon’s broad base of loyal fans.
“Partnering with them is kind of a dream come true because if you think of a company that has done a perfect textbook example of activating new users to sports whether it’s yoga or running, it’s them. I think we can learn a lot from that,” said Rachael Lambert, Specialized’s women’s product and marketing manager.
Lambert will announce a new retail program tied into the sponsorship after the first team camp in early December. Specialized is still ironing out the details with lululemon and Scrymgeour but, Lambert said, the goal of the retail aspect is to cross-promote Specialized’s strength in cycling with lululemon’s emphasis on healthy living in a way that will drive new female riders into stores.
Lululemon currently holds a small presence in the cycling market with a few commuter garments, but is far better known for its yoga apparel.
“We can’t wait to elevate women’s cycling with Specialized,” said Christine Day, CEO of lululemon athletica in a press release issued Tuesday. “Their technical expertise, longstanding pedigree and dedication to women in cycling inspire our entire organization. Feedback from the athletes is what drives us and these amazing athletes further enhance our focus on technical product.”
The team will race on the 2012 Specialized Amira, the S-Works Shiv, the S-Works Prevail and wear TT2 helmets and S-Works shoes.