Last Updated on April 16, 2023
Northeast Portland premium letterman jacket company, Settlemier’s Jackets, announced a name, image and likeness partnership with Oregon basketball signee Jackson Shelstad. Shelstad, who will participate in Saturday’s Nike Hoop Summit representing team U.S.A. is the first athlete to initiate a NIL partnership with Settlemier’s Jackets. The idea behind the partnership is rooted in the belief that premier athletes deserve the best trophy jackets and aligns a local apparel brand with one of Oregon’s most distinguished basketball players.
“Jackson’s level of success and accomplishment was a very important aspect of our goals at Settlemier’s,” said Aaron Settlemier, who is the owner of Settlemier’s Jackets. “This aspect of who he is as a student athlete connects with who Settlemier’s Jackets is as a company: being the best in our field, goal orientated, acclaimed and hardworking.”
“He is an Oregon student athlete, but his awards extend him beyond the region (with connections to Gatorade, Nike, and other globally recognized brands), which is very similar to us. But beyond the importance of finding someone who aligned with us best, our goal was also being able to tell our story the loudest at a moment where we can really use the extra amplification.”
Klutch Sports Group, a sports agency founded by Rich Paul that represents athletes such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Anthony Edwards, brokered the deal between Shelstad and Settlemier’s. In addition, INDUSTRY, a global independent consultancy based in Portland, will launch a back-to-school campaign as part of the deal.
“Partnering with this local business is big for me,” said Shelstad. “I look for companies that want to think differently about NIL. I like the idea of being grassroots in nature but first class in products and content. When I saw their jackets, it’s obvious they fit that mindset. And when I wore one, it was an easy decision.”
Last month, Shelstad was named Oregon’s Boys Basketball 2022-2023 Gatorade Player of the Year for a second straight year. He led his high school basketball team, the West Linn Lions, to a 32-2 record and a #25 ranking in the USA Today Sports 25 for 2023. This past fall, he signed his letter of intent and committed to the University of Oregon.
More than A Letterman Jacket
Settlemier’s Letterman Jackets are distinct; they are made of a 24-ounce American-made virgin wool melton body sourced from Washougal, Washington, by a two-century-old manufacturer. Jantzen Swimwear provided the wool cuffs, collar and waistband. In addition, each jacket is unique in its patches; each jacket is customized based on the athlete with custom embroidery made on-site at Settlemier’s flagship store in Northeast Portland, in the neighborhood that Settlemier, the current owner, grew up in. Though Settlemier’s was founded in 1990 by Gloria Settlemier, Aaron still displays the same dedication and consistency his grandmother had when she established Nelson’s Jackets in 1967.
“Above all the rest, a Settlemier’s lettermen represents the authenticity of the varsity garment,” Settlemier said. “Because of the rich history of high quality wool made in the Pacific Northwest, the lettermen jacket once was our signature garment– like shoes used to be for New England.”
“From a handful of varsity jacket factories which could be found in our region, the best high school lettermen jackets were found here. Now with so few remaining, we carry that torch by making these with the same locally-made materials, practices, and labor. All that manufacturing tradition and knowledge has been passed down to me. It has not been lost, but instead is still thriving (here in Portland).”
Settlemier’s personalized approach resonates with customers both past and present. The connection the brand has with its customers speaks to its longevity.
“We also represent the generational quality of these garments, and what I mean by that is not just the quality of garment that we make– meant to be handed-down and kept for generations– but also the very deep connection we have to our customers. My face-to-face dealings are not with a single customer, but with the families of students. At the very least the students come in with their parents, and together we all design a lettermen jacket which best honors that students’ achievements. Along with them many times the Grandparents are here too, who tell me they got their jacket from my Grandmother, that their child’s jacket was made by my Mom, and that now I am making one for their Grandchild.”
Jackson Shelstad customized two letterman jackets through his NIL partnership with Settlemier’s. One of them commemorates his basketball achievements at West Linn High School; the jacket material is made from black virgin wool melton and black leather sleeves. In addition, Shelstad designed a patch with his “JS” logo to add a personalized touch — further, his second jacket sports West Linn High School’s traditional colors of green and gold.
The entire process of creating Jackson’s letterman’s was collaborative, and the fact that he brought his original ideas to the design process added a unique touch. “Just the initial step of meeting his parents and hearing about all that he has accomplished. “When a student athlete has done so much there are many ways to express that, which makes it an exciting process,” said Settlemier.
“Then when I heard Jackson had some of his own ideas, style-wise, to make the jacket his own it really made it a fun experience. I really like it when the young people who come in here want to think a little outside the box. That is our speciality: custom-made, made-to-order, designed for each person. Each jacket gets 100% of our attention and care.”
Settlemier’s has produced over 120,000 jackets since 1990 and has built a reputation that has stood the test of time. Although they have collaborated with the likes of LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Pharrell Williams Settlemier’s Jackets are more than just jackets instead convey a unique experience.
“To me this only gets better and richer over time and I am lucky enough as third-generation jacket maker to really experience what makes selling a lettermen jacket so special” said Settlemier. “This experience– this deep connection– happens at each and every store which sells our jackets to their local schools. Through our product those businesses we work with are able to form connections with their customers that few other products can achieve. It’s truly the most rewarding part of my job, and what separates us.”