While Rowing Blazers has gone through two rounds of fundraising with the latest round being in 2018, its current strategy has involved partnerships with heritage brands, establishments and sport teams, as well as establishing brick-and-mortar presence to boost online sales. Below is a summary of key findings on its current growth strategy, including partnerships and a permanent location. Note that its flagship and pop-up shops are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Please see the last section for updates on its financial information.
- Although Rowing Blazers is described as a youthful apparel company, it has recently partnered with a number of older labels to "harness the marketing power of nostalgia." The partnerships, however, have been mostly driven by the heritage brands seeking after Rowing Blazers. These partners include Barbour, Sperry, Puma, Noah, Lands’ End, Eric Emanuel, J. Press and Beams.
- According to Rowing Blazers, the company has also partnered with communities such as "artists, musicians, student organizations, iconic eating and drinking establishments, and charitable causes, including our primary charitable partner, Row New York."
PARTNERSHIPS WITH HERITAGE BRANDS
Partnerships with heritage brands are to create joint collections/product lines with a touch of Rowing Blazers and the partners' signature styles where both Rowing Blazers and the partners profit. The collaborated products are made in the United States.
- In September 2019, the iconic American heritage brand Land's End announced partnership with Rowing Blazers for a limited-edition capsule collection. "Inspired by Lands' End's rich history, and Rowing Blazers' irreverent, fashion-forward take on classic American style, the unisex capsule will feature rugby shirts in 100% cotton and a weekend bag in Lands' End's trademark Seagoing Duffle construction. The limited-edition rugby shirts are made in the USA." A second collection created in partnership with Land's End was announced in April 2020.
- Rowing Blazers is also currently collaborating with Boast, a traditional American tennis brand, to create "four pieces — a quarter-zip, a piqué polo, a hat, and, of course, a pair of tennis shorts — all emblazoned with the iconic Boast Japanese Maple in Rowing Blazers‘ signature 'croquet' colorway."
- Another example of partnership with legendary brands is its collaboration with FILA to create a limited-edition collection that combines our sense of irreverence with FILA’s sporting heritage.
- With Sperry, Rowing Blazers produces a collection of iconic classic speakers.
- Rowing Blazers is collaborating with New Era to create a collection of "six caps puts a more trad, leisurely spin on New Era’s hundred years of sporting heritage."
- The company is also teaming up with New York jewelry designer Jessica Biales to create three exclusive signet rings for women and men, inspired by Rowing Blazers signature Croquet Stripe and the original rugby shirt, and offer a selection of classic collegiate stripe signets in a wide variety of colors.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH ESTABLISHMENTS AND ARTISTS
The company's partnerships with various establishments are to utilize the locations of the establishments to launch and/or sell its products. In collaboration with artists, Rowing Blazers makes products featuring the art of the partnering artists.
- In addition to partnerships with apparel brands, Rowing Blazers has also collaborated with well-known establishments, an example of which is Harry's New York Bar, known as "a gathering place for intellectuals, celebrities, sportsmen and rakes." In January 2019, the collaboration launched Harry's New York Bar in Paris, where Rowing Blazers also launched its limited collection of "the lambswool sweater - and a range of other merch, inspired by the bar's illustrious history and sporting heritage."
- Rowing Blazers is currently collaborating with the family-owned clothing store Murray’s Toggery, allowing it to be one of only a handful of third-party stores worldwide that stock and sell Rowing Blazers products.
- With its collaboration with the estate of iconic American photographer, Slim Aarons, Rowing Blazers produces pieces featuring Aarons's select pieces.
- Rowing Blazers also produces a line featuring iconic pieces by legendary Swiss photographer Willy Spiller.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH SPORT TEAMS AND EVENTS
The company's partnerships with sport teams and events are to launch/release its collections or to produce the outfits for the teams.
- In February 2020, Rowing Blazers also announced its partnership with USRowing, the national governing body of rowing in the United States, to create its capsule collection, "inspired by the history and heritage of USRowing from the 'Boys in the Boat' who won gold at the ‘36 Olympics in Berlin and their uniforms, to the present day."
- Rowing Blazers is the official outfitter for the U.S. men's and women's national rugby teams.
- The company is also a partner of the Annapolis Cup Croquet Match and makes blazers for the teams in it. To mark what would have been the 38th Annapolis Cup (canceled due to COVID-19), Rowing Blazers re-released select pieces from its Annapolis Cup capsule and its signature "croquet stripe" collection.
- In addition, Rowing Blazers produces outfits for a number of rowing clubs, among which are Imperial and Oxford Brooke.
- Rowing Blazers has made a special capsule collection co-branded with The Varsity using their historic Jutphaas emblem in celebration of the annual Varsity Race in the Netherlands, "one of the most historic, prestigious rowing events in the world and home to many of the sport’s greatest and most eccentric traditions."
Pop-Up Shops and Rowing Blazers Clubhouse
- In 2019, Rowing Blazers opened two pop-up shops in the United States--one in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and one Brentwood, California--and one open pop-up shop in Tokyo.
- Rowing Blazers opened its first permanent location in Soho, known as Rowing Blazers Clubhouse, in May 2019. According to its founder Jack Carlson, the main reason for opening the flagship store is to boost online sales. Carlson claims that every time his company opens a pop-up location, online sales see a spike, leading him to believe that a physical location can drive online sales. Customers visiting pop-up shops reportedly do not always buy the products but usually take photos to share on social media.
- While COVID-19 has forced its shops to close, the pandemic was reportedly responsible for a 44% increase in demand from cross-border customers through e-commerce.
- In addition to the early-stage rounds of fundraising, public records show that Rowing Blazers has received between $150,000-$350,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan provided through Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank on April 28, 2020.
- Rowing Blazers has one investor, Winklevoss Capital Management, which currently holds a minority share of Rowing Blazers. The company is featured on the venture capital fund's website as part of its portfolio. Crunchbase records show that Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of Winklevoss Capital Management, serve as advisers to Rowing Blazers.