Posted: August 21, 2012
The Reading-based company, whose website is hosted by the DSS Data Center, created gymnastics uniforms for the U.S. Teams, and continues to support the athletes after their return from the games
Reading, Pa. – London’s closing ceremonies may have meant the end of the Olympics, but GK Elite Sportswear’s website, hosted in the DSS Data Center, is still enjoying a surge in popularity and traffic thanks to the 2012 games. GK Elite, based in Reading, Pa., designed and manufactured the uniforms for the gold-medal winning U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team.
The sportswear company garnered media attention and a global spotlight at the 2012 summer games, not only as the world’s largest outfitter of sportswear for gymnasts, but also for the development of their products. G. K. Elite’s products are all designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. – a feature that made the uniforms a popular topic in the news and on social media during the Olympics.
“We’re extremely proud of the fact that we are the premier gymnastics brand in the world in this business, and that we’re made in USA,” said Kelly McKeown, Executive Vice President of Design and Corporate Relations at GK Elite.
GK Elite also outfitted athletes from Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Greece, Israel, the Czech Republic and Finland. The uniforms, particularly those worn by the United States’ “Fierce Five” female gymnasts, got almost as much attention as the athletes themselves. Their distinctive look, heavily accented with Swarovski crystals and made of compression-fit fabric, was a hit with the Olympians, as well as the Olympic viewers.
According to McKeown, the phones at GK Elite headquarters were ringing off the hook once the now-famous, crystal-covered leotards made their debut. The company’s website has experienced a high volume of visits, both for information about the company, and for requests for replica leotards.
“I was fielding questions about the uniforms at the Olympics,” said McKeown. “It’s off the charts as far as feedback – it’s a great indicator of the support everyone has given the team.” In response to the increased website traffic, the DSS team is on heightened alert for GK Elite’s web server with more sensitive monitoring. This allows for rapid investigation and fast response to any alerts that may arise.
“The Olympics always tend to bring people together and create a sense of American pride,” said Jim Sweeney, President of DSS. “We want our business to be able to support that.”
DSS is anticipating a further traffic boost in the fall, when teams begin a new season and will be looking to outfit their gymnasts. Even though the Olympics are over, McKeown and the GK Elite staff show no signs of slowing down. McKeown returned from London last week, ready to take on GK’s next big undertaking: the 40-city Olympic tour.
GK Elite designed the costumes the athletes will wear on the tour, and will be busy marketing replicas of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team’s apparel. In addition, there are other special projects on the horizon, as well as the usual lines the company debuts throughout the year. Because GK Elite’s is such a niche business, McKeown said that having complete and total control over the product is essential, particularly when planning for something like the Olympics. “It’s vital to have the interaction with the people involved, all under one roof,” McKeown said. “Being able to have that instant access and crossover is just amazing.”
The superior craftsmanship was evident at the Olympics. The combination of artistry and athleticism promises to deliver an exciting future for the company.
Like most customers in the DSS Data Center, GK Elite’s website is hosted on IBM systems that meet the performance demands of their workload but also offer simple management and efficiency to get the most out of their IT investment. As GK Elite’s business continues to grow, DSS plans to continue delivery of flexible solutions to help manage that growth, such as infrastructure or onsite support, which will enable their IT team to focus on the core business.
“By directly supporting GK Elite, many of us experience a feeling of personal connection to the games,” said Sweeney. “There is pride in knowing that our work can truly make a difference.”
About DSS DSS is headquartered in Wyomissing, PA and serves organizations in the mid-Atlantic region. DSS provides a broad portfolio of technology solutions from the desktop to the data center that drive business value. DSS employs over 120 people and offers solutions that address Infrastructure, Data Center Hosting, Managed Services, Social Software and Collaboration and IT Staffing. DSS operates an enterprise class data center and has elite level partnerships with industry leaders IBM, Microsoft, VMWare, EMC and Cisco. For more information visit www.dsscorp.com and www.dssdatacenter.com.
About G.K. Elite Sportswear L.P. GK is the world’s leading brand of gymnastics apparel and is recognized around the world for superior variety, quality, fit and service. Elite Sportswear, L.P. is proud to have been chosen by adidas® to manufacture the US National Team Competitive apparel for USA Gymnastics since 2000 and is the sole producer of adidas® brand gymnastics apparel worldwide. Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, Elite Sportswear, L.P., the company behind the GK brand, continues its commitment to American-made quality and continuous innovation in designs for Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Dance, and Drill Team apparel. For more information about GK Elite, visit www.gkelite.com.