I first learned of GORE-TEX in 1988 during the Seoul Olympics. I sat outside the Athlete’s center for 4 hours, in the pouring rain with a teammate drinking beer in a GORE-TEX suit that we were given as part of the 1988 Olympic kit. Our races were done so we had all the time in the world to talk about our plans for the future now that we agreed our athletic careers were over. After 4 hours and a twelve pack we returned to the Athletic Center in search of food. When we got inside we noticed we were bone dry! That 1988 Olympic jacket and pant still hang in my office…though the fit is bit more snug.
Then in 1992, After months of persistence, planning and cajoling with WL Gore leadership, Boathouse was awarded a license to manufacture GORE-TEX jackets and pants. With only 17 workers in our first Philadelphia factory, we set out to manufacture GORE-TEX products. People told us we were nuts! "Who in the team business will spend that much on a jacket?” those who will remain anonymous said. I would reply with "Well…professional football has for 20+ years, and still do. Many International Soccer teams do, along with Rugby, Rowing, Baseball. But mostly, it’s the Colleges, Universities and Clubs that need great product that is waterproof, windproof and comfortable. And product that lasts…for decades. All made fully custom to match their brand and training needs."
Today, 25 years later, we continue to develop and make GORE-TEX jackets and pants in our Philadelphia, USA factory, now with over 200 full-time employees.