This Sheep has Sailed

Long overdue. Potentially unprofessional. With the wrath only  a group of women can provide….

After months of unanswered voicemails and emails, we, Team Revolution are calling it quits with Icebreaker. The partnership that started in January of 2009, died a long, quiet death after they failed to return numerous inquiries about fulfilling the support that seemed so promising a year ago. Our Icebreaker sponsorship coordinator excitedly jumped on the Team Rev train–issuing our race team a few boxes full of baselayers and other apparel for our early spring season. Quickly following that, our club received great discounts on spring/summer wear. And then the line went dead.

While we all passionately bragged about our new love of wool and the company that brought it to us, that company was quietly withdrawing its apparent interest in cycling. Or just us. Either way, the once promising relationship fizzled on their end. And we were left to wonder, wait and finally provide our own sense of closure.

Here it is:

Goodbye, Icebreaker Heartbreaker.

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

Well, no, actually, it was you. I thought I would always love you, Icebreaker, but you’ve broken my heart. You said you wanted to grow with me. I was eagerly poised to test and review and wear and wash and NOT wash any apparel you could put out there. I thought we were a match made in heaven. But, no, there must be others since you’ve quietly dismissed me. Left me cold. I’m sure there are plenty courting you, we’ve only praised your products…spreading the word of wool to those clinging to their over-priced synthetics. People’s heads were turning in envy as we strolled around shiverless post ‘cross races.

But, alas, our thin summer layers lacked the depth we knew midwestern winters would require. The fall and winter line you promised have been out for months. We patiently waited for the complex price sheet from which to place our coveted, discounted order. What are we to take from your silence? We’re no longer an asset to you? Not worthy of a criticism, suggestion, or the closure of knowing whatever has disappointed you?

Guess we’re breaking up out of sheer (or is it shear?) lack of response and now last year’s clothing line will have to suffice. Sadly, the once tiny holes in our Icebreaker pullovers are getting harder to look past as the cool breeze of bitterness filters through. We will move on. And you know what? We’re gonna be fine…as fine as that Merino you talked so much about and that we (and Sarah Palin) have come to love. Fortunately for us, those sheep farmers in New Zealand are working for other companies, too.

How could we have been so blindly loyal? Ibex has had cycling gear for some time. Bibs, shorts, jerseys, oh my! “Oh no, we don’t need them. Not yet.” And Smartwool’s lusty, playful tall socks and new armwarmers were dismissed with a wave of the hand. “No, we will wait, our Icebreaker will come through for us.” But, now, who is the fool? We followed your tweets. Your blog. We call, we write. And nothing. Only the echo of our own collective voice. Cold.

Yes, Team Rev is moving on. You might now be thankful for fewer emails and voicemails to ignore. We might now have closure and relish the excitement of exploring brands we’ve secretly come to admire since our introduction to this wool phenomenon..with products fit for purpose. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need to go have a few rides this weekend to unwind from all the break-up tension. And while we briefly lament the fact we’ll likely never get the satisfaction of hearing anything from you, post-ride we’ll cozy up with a beer or two, while drooling over the new Ibex catalog.

Thank you, Icebreaker, for the introduction to the wonderful world of wool. We’ll continue our campaign for sustainable, high-performing wool products. Just not yours.