SOURCE: SODO Apparel

Richmond Public Relations

November 20, 2013 16:47 ET

SODO Apparel Launches Premium Sports Apparel Brand

Seattle Startup Announces Partnership and Brand Launch at ZUM Fitness

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - November 20, 2013) - SODO Apparel ("SODO"), a Seattle-based startup, announces the launch of its premium, urban sports apparel company for men.

"We are excited to launch SODO. We believe there is a huge void in the men's sports apparel market," said Mark Nelson, founder of SODO. "Seattle is the ideal place to launch a new brand with Nike, Adidas, and Lululemon all headquartered within 180 miles. The talent has been aggregated, it's time to for a Seattle sports brand to enter the ring."

SODO was founded in August 2012 by Mark Nelson and his childhood friend, Lars Haneberg. The duo developed the idea for the brand based on the anecdotal reluctance they saw for men to wear Lululemon. After analyzing the market and consulting with industry insiders, such as Pete Nordstrom, executive vice president of Nordstrom, Inc., the SODO founders heeded advice to focus on the quality of the product and built a team with veterans from many nationally recognized apparel brands.

Nelson and Haneberg believe SODO's fabrics will set them apart from their competition. "Our fabrics are a big differentiator for us," Nelson noted. "Our direct-to-consumer model allows us to use premium, world-class fabrics that other brands deem too expensive." SODO's core fabrics, Solux and Moss, both poly/spandex blends, offer performance characteristics along with an exceptional hand feel.

Manufactured in Spokane, Wash., the company's initial "SODO OTG" (On the Go) product line features eight products -- three shirts, two jackets, a hoodie, shorts and pants. In February 2014, SODO will launch "SODO Prodigy," its technical line of performance products. All SODO garments are tag-free and include a "Dashboard" which displays care instructions and a QR code allowing wearers to easily purchase the style in other colors.

In addition to its use of innovative fabrics, SODO has taken a non-traditional approach to retail sales. "We currently sell from a modified 20-foot shipping container which is authentic to Seattle's Sodo district," said Lars Haneberg, co-founder of SODO. "While we're 'steel and glass' for now, we're encouraged by the 70 percent sales conversion rate we've experienced at the Container during our test marketing." SODO plans to open its first brick and mortar store in the summer of 2014.

SODO has teamed up with Peter Shmock, two-time Olympian and founder of Seattle's ZŪM fitness, who has helped test market the products. "Over the years I've been approached by almost every major brand to carry their products at ZŪM, but I've passed on every one of them," said Shmock. "SODO's fabrics really set them apart and I'm a huge fan." SODO will be the first apparel brand carried at ZŪM.

SODO is conducting a three-day launch celebration, including a private party at ZŪM fitness on Thursday, Nov. 21, followed by two days of container shopping at ZŪM (1813 7th Avenue, Seattle), which are open to the public.

All SODO items are available for purchase on the company website at www.sodoapparel.com

About SODO Apparel

Seattle-based SODO Apparel was established in August 2012 by childhood friends, Mark Nelson, an orthodontist by trade, and Lars Haneberg, a chief financial officer and business adviser. While not serial entrepreneurs, each of them has been successful in personal ventures and as business partners. In 2006, the two teamed up to build a home for the Seattle Street of Dreams, which went on to claim five builder awards and was the first house sold on the street. SODO Apparel invites men everywhere to "Be Done with Lesser Things." For more information, visit www.sodoapparel.com, follow on Twitter (@SODOapparel), or "like" SODO on Facebook (Facebook.com/SODOapparel).

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