Fans preparing for the inaugural NWHL season can finally get their hands on replicas of the jerseys which will be worn by the league’s Founding Four.
As of Thursday, the NWHL’s online store is open and jerseys for all four teams — the Buffalo Beauts, Boston Pride, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters — are available for sale. Better yet, though, fans can support their favorite players through picking up the jerseys.
In a partnership with Pop Tops, the sportswear manufacturer which will be providing teams with the official jerseys and fans with replicas, the players will receive 15 percent of every jersey sale which bears their name on the back. So a Janine Weber New York Riveters jersey, for instance, will net Weber 15 percent of the profit. That’s a fantastic deal for the players and a great addition to what is already the first paid professional women’s league in North America.
“We love everything about the philosophy of Pop Tops as a small business,” said NWHL Commissioner and New York Riveters GM Dani Rylan. “We like that they are family owned and manufacture here on U.S. soil, and they’ve been willing to work closely with us to bring our ideas to life.”
With a number of major manufacturing companies as likely options for the NWHL, it’s refreshing to see the league go with a lesser-known manufacturer that can provide products to fans and players.
“We are excited to be part of this new venture from the ground up,” said Pop Tops’ VP of Sales and Marketing Jonathan Fine. “We work with many girls and women's teams from youth to college and look forward to seeing our uniforms and apparel at the highest level.”
For fans who paid attention to the NWHL’s jersey design competition, two of the sweaters will look very familiar. The jerseys for both the Pride and Riveters are almost one-to-one replications of the fan-submitted designs. The Beauts and Whale both changed their logo over the summer, however, so the jerseys do differ slightly from those which were selected in the competition.
The complete rosters haven’t yet been announced, but it’s expected that big names such as Hilary Knight will have signings announced before the NWHL season begins. Luckily, fans wishing to pick up jerseys have more than a month to do so before the inaugural campaign is officially underway. The NWHL season kicks off on Oct. 11 when New York visits Connecticut.