A new company is giving fans the opportunity to wear a new jersey each week — by renting them.
Rep The Squad is selling monthly subscriptions that allow fans to pick what jerseys they want to wear and have the items sent to them one at a time. When a jersey is returned in a prepaid envelope, the next jersey in their queue (or “locker”) is sent out.
The monthly subscription costs $19.95 for adults and $16.95 for children.
The site is the brainchild of Brian Watkins, an e-commerce veteran who saw the rise of nontraditional subscription rental businesses such as clothing and watches and decided the jersey market was ready for a similar disruption.
Watkins says buying jerseys is a tough proposition these days and his company is absorbing the risk for fans.
“How many jerseys can you really afford to own?” Watkins said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to not only wear the players on your favorite team, but also be able to wear the jerseys of the players on your fantasy team?”
Watkins hopes to eventually go into all major pro sports teams, but at launch, which is Wednesday, the company will only have jerseys for fans of the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions.
The company has acquired thousands of jerseys, including every look in every size for these teams.
Rep The Squad, for example, starts with an offering of four different Russell Wilson jerseys and five different Barry Sanders jerseys.
If a fan returns a dirty jersey, Watkins says that’s expected — the jerseys are immediately dry cleaned at no cost to the customer.
“There will be a charge, however, if a [Oakland] Raiders jersey were to come back all cut up,” Watkins joked.
The Seattle-based company is backed by Madrona Venture Group, which was one of the earliest Amazon investors, and Maveron, which is was co-founded by Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz. Athlete investors include Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate and Los Angeles Chargers tackle Russell Okung.