Products from Cleveland-based Hardwick Clothes will be featured during this summer's Olympic Games, which will provide worldwide publicity for the area company.
"The Olympic Games contract can widen exposure of the Hardwick name and brand, and foster interest from people who maybe have never heard of the company," President and CEO Bruce Bellusci said via email.
—NBC Olympics is a division of NBC Sports Group.
—The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5–21.
—Hardwick Clothes is America’s oldest tailored clothing brand.
—Hardwick now has 315 employees at its Old Tasso Road plant. That number is up more than 100 from when Bellusci came on board in 2014.
—The plant has recently been retrofitted with $2.5 million in new manufacturing machinery and has invested in new types of high-end fabrics, linings and buttons, as well as top industry talent and training.
Source: Bruce Bellusci
More than 200 million people watched the London Summer Olympics, which were also broadcast by NBC. Hardwick has had a relationship with the network for more than a year.
Last year, the brand was the outfitter for all the NBC coverage for the NFL and the NHL. The partnership was successful, so it made sense to team up again, and NBC wanted to work with an American company, he said.
"It's an incredible partnership, and it's going to give us such great exposure on a national and international scale," he said.
Hardwick will provide wardrobes for on-air broadcast talent, which includes Al Michaels, Dan Patrick and former Olympian Ato Boldon, among others.
The brand's fabrics have "comfort and breathability" that should be a good fit for Brazil’s climate, he said.
Athletes and commentators can traditionally be difficult to fit, but the company's specially developed performance fabrics have stretch and wrinkle resistance to increase comfort and make for a better-fitting garment, he also said.
Many of the broadcast talent will wear looks from the H-Tech collection of suits and blazers that feature wrinkle resistance, stretch and other performance properties.
Yacoubian Tailors and Bruce Baird & Co. in Chattanooga, as well as Town Squire in Cleveland, carry the blazers and suits NBC talent will wear during this year's games.
"The stylist, Amy Acton, has said she tries to look for brands who ... would be a good fit, and who would appreciate the chance and who would make the most of it, and we certainly are," Bellusci said.