Stance, the fast-growing global basics brand built on creative and technical innovation, announced today that it has partnered with the Nicklaus Companies to introduce a collection of golf socks inspired by record 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. The first style celebrates Nicklaus’ epic win at age 46 in the 1986 Masters, widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in major championship golf.
Founded in 2011, Stance quickly turned the overlooked category of socks into a fashion statement, while the brand’s focus on innovation has earned it major recognition in the sports world, with performance product developed for the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup. Stance has been the official on-court sock for the NBA, and is currently the official sock of Major League Baseball. The company has created collections for NBA stars Dwyane Wade and James Harden, Bubba Watson, and MLB American League MVP Jose Altuve. On the lifestyle side, the brand boasts an impressive and long list of collaborations and collections, including Rihanna as a contributing creative director.
The first style released in the new Jack Nicklaus Collection features the image of Nicklaus rolling in a birdie putt on the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club that inspired one of the most famous broadcast calls in golf history, with Verne Lundquist’s enthusiastic “Yes sir!” Several news outlets have since called the image of Nicklaus stalking the birdie putt one of golf history’s greatest photos.
The sock design also takes cues from the outfit Nicklaus chose to wear that Sunday ahead of his historic win. While honoring the memory of family friend Craig Smith by donning a yellow shirt, Nicklaus captured a record sixth Green Jacket; a record 18th major championship; and, at age 46, he became the oldest winner of the Masters and the second-oldest winner of a major.
Jack and 11-year-old Craig Smith, the son of Barbara Nicklaus’ minister, the Rev. Bill Smith, bonded in 1969, just after Craig had been diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer with no cure. They developed a special relationship, and would communicate often.
After one of his victories, Jack called Craig, who faithfully watched the Golden Bear in every televised tournament. Craig said he knew Nicklaus would win, because Craig “was wearing his lucky yellow shirt.” From that point forward, the Golden Bear regularly wore yellow on Sundays.
In June of 1971, Craig Smith died at age 13. The next year, Nicklaus won the Masters and the U.S. Open, wearing yellow in the final rounds of each. More wins, and eventually different colors came, but that Sunday morning in 1986, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus decided once more that Jack should wear a yellow shirt in honor of Craig. Inspired by the Nicklaus family’s commitment to pediatric care, Stance has become a proud supporter of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation (nchcf.org).
“The design of our first sock celebrates so many things that were special about the ’86 Masters,” said John Wilson, president and co-founder of Stance. “With the prominent and iconic image of Jack’s putt on 17, and especially the nod to the Golden Bear’s yellow shirt with the sock’s yellow design features, we are honored to support the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.”
The style is designed on the brand’s high-performance golf block, which includes FEEL360, Stance’s proprietary new fiber treatment that reduces odor-causing bacteria, regulates temperature, accelerates moisture wicking, and enhances the durability of the socks. The result is a sock that keeps the foot fresher, drier, and more comfortable, round after round.
Each sock in Stance’s new Jack Nicklaus Collection will feature the iconic Golden Bear logo embroidered on the opposite sock of the Stance icon. The ’86 Masters style is available nowat stance.com, as well as in pro shops around the country for $18.
Embracing “The Uncommon Thread” as its mantra, Stance turned one of the world’s most boring accessories into its most exciting in only a few years. Stance’s founders saw a category that had been ignored, taken for granted, and dismissed. By breathing life into something that had been overlooked, Stance ignited a movement of art and self-expression that has drawn athletes, performers and iconic cultural influencers to the brand – a group they call the Punks & Poets. And by underpinning its creative roots with a relentless focus on technical innovation, Stance is now found in over 60 countries on those who dare to be different.
About the Nicklaus Companies:
The Nicklaus Companies is dedicated to promoting excellence in the game of golf, preserving its great traditions, and growing the game. For nearly 50 years, the mission of the Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience, and to bring to the national and international consumer golf-related businesses and services that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of Jack Nicklaus. In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to help further the growth of the company and to realize the full potential of the brands and branded businesses. Howard Milstein is Chairman of New York Private Bank & Trust, and is actively involved in the Nicklaus Companies as Executive Chairman.
Products and services include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of golf products and services. Nicklaus-branded products have been marketed worldwide since 1962. The Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear-branded lifestyle collection of products includes: golf academies; ice cream; restaurants; beverages; beverageware; wine; home appliances; apparel; socks; and golf equipment.
Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created more than 415 courses worldwide, open for play in 45 countries and 39 U.S states. Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or re-designed over 300 courses around the globe, and Nicklaus Design courses have been ranked more than 2,000 times in various national or international Top-100 lists.
For more information on Nicklaus Design or the Nicklaus Companies, please visit nicklaus.com.