SODO engineers gear unlike any other athletic apparel company in the world. Headquartered in Seattle’s SoDo district, we collaboratively develop styles in real-time with expert athletes, including a large network of NFL, NBA, and MLB players. SODO works with top global mills to develop our “best in class” core fabrics – fabrics that combine key performance properties with unmatched hand feel. We bring our gear to market through our mobile retail unit (MRU), select high end retailers Nordstrom & REI, and elite gyms.
With A+ partners, a 45% re-purchase rate, and a highly disruptive model, SODO is uniquely positioned and ready to capitalize on the white space opportunity in men’s premium athletic apparel. Request access to our business plan for details on our team, vision, and strategy in a U.S. athletic apparel market projected to grow 50% by 2020.
SODO’S journey began when our founders noticed some men were reaching for Lululemon, a women’s yoga brand. We discovered a massive gap in the men’s premium market and began consulting with industry experts & pro athletes on the best way to capitalize on it. One of these experts, Pete Nordstrom, gave straightforward advice that shaped our vision: “focus on product”. These 3 words inspired us to build an entirely new type of company – one custom-built around collaborative, real-time product development.
SODO’s unique production model allows us to go from concept to fully vetted, market-ready product in 8 weeks – much faster than the 12 month industry average. SODO combines superior ingredients – fabrics and trims – with high end features like bonding, body mapping, and Zero Odor technology to create uncommon gear. Stylistically, SODO employs a team of talented designers to deliver fresh, clean designs.
SODO works with expert athletes to develop and test our gear. The majority of our testers are dedicated athletes who work out at least 4 times/week. Men who sweat the details like we do. Their feedback is invaluable as we collaborate with them at every step from idea to finished product.
Our rapidly growing pro athlete network has NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS players from over 30 teams. Most of these are professional athletes under contract with Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour. What’s different about their relationship with SODO? We don’t pay them and they are under no obligation to wear our gear. We do let them keep the SODO gear they test for us in exchange for their unvarnished feedback.
We also anonymize their images on our website so they can keep collecting those endorsement checks from Nike, Adidas, and UA. We believe that if you make the best gear you shouldn’t have to pay people to wear it.
We believe that the products we make are only as good as the fabrics we use. While mass marketed sports brands typically use fabrics in the $2-3 per yard range, SODO’s core fabrics are $8-10 per yard, a difference our customers feel on first touch. In our MRU, we have over a 70% conversion rate for customers that put their hands on our fabrics.
SODO is headquartered in the heart of the SoDo district, Seattle’s unique confluence of sports, industry, and technology. Originally a shipping district, SoDo now houses Seattle’s sports venues (CenturyLink & Safeco Field) and is the birthplace of global brands like Starbuck’s & Zulily. True to our district’s roots, SODO’s mobile retail unit is a re-purposed 20’ shipping container.
Headquartered in the middle of a deep industry talent pool (Nike, Adidas and Lululemon are within 180 miles) SODO founders believe Seattle is the premier location in the world to create a “first of its kind” sports apparel company.
SODO is nimble & quick not only in how we make product, but how we deliver it. We know this: steel & glass is a lot smarter than brick & mortar. The SODO Container is 180 square feet of baked-in marketing greatness, loaded with styles hot off the production line. The Container is a stellar way to get new hands on our fabrics, generate buzz, and tell our SODO story in new cities. We’ve thrown it down at A+ retail & gym locations in Seattle, it’s primed & ready for SoCal & NYC.
Prior to creating SODO, Mark successfully founded companies in both health care and real estate. He managed and grew his health care company to the top 1% of practices in the U.S (earnings basis) within 5 years of its launch.
Lars is a CPA and former COO/CFO of Salty’s Group of Restaurants and CFO of Pacific Trawlers. During his tenure with Pacific Trawlers, he oversaw revenue going from $0 to $150 million, and was responsible for 500 employees.
Julie is a former Divisional Merchandiser for Nordstrom, responsible for the creative vision and financial strategy to grow and lead a team of 400 people. Since leaving, she has worked with many brands launching at Nordstrom.
Laura is the former manager of Lululemon’s U.S. flagship store in Santa Monica, California. She hosted Lululemon’s bi-annual Research & Development meetings with their international design team.