Catching Up With Daniel Sandstedt
When word first trickled out that iconic gear manufacturer JT Racing would be re-launched, there was a great divide in reactions. Those who witnessed the brand’s growth, impact, and sudden demise, were in awe at the classic, simple design, while younger riders missed the appeal of two-tone gear. Many wondered if the brand would have one look and if it could survive solely on legacy, or if it would push the envelope the way the original company did. After speaking with Daniel Sandstedt, the co-owner of the “new” JT Racing, it appears that it will be a mixture of the two. Sandstedt, who is also a sales representative for eyewear giant Luxottica, gave us a small preview of the new designs and let us know what to expect in the coming months from the reawakened giant.
In the next few weeks JT Racing will make it’s first big push back in to the market. How are things coming along?
Things are going great. It has been a long way for us internally as a company since we started a couple of years ago to put this thing together. We knew at certain steps that we needed to make more of a presence in the racing scene, not only with our legendary riders that we launched the brand with, but to more importantly that to have a presence at the races we needed to get on board with some riders and a team like this. This is what we worked really hard to accomplish, and now we are here and we hope that it gives us back everything that we put in to it. Come Anaheim One, we will have a lot of guys sprinkled around on the track and we look to make a presence and move forward from here.
It is rumored that an outside the industry clothing company works with JT. Is there a company behind the gear?
We are the main company, my business partner, David, and myself. We have the license to the brand. The licensor has nothing to do with the brand. They are a publicly traded company. The paintball company, they are another division and like a trademark and is owned by someone separate. We took on JT Racing and fully own and operate the company. Everything that you see here is a derivative of our hard work, investment, and research in to the legacy of the brand. We have taken all the elements that we have gathered over the years as fans and as owners to create our initial collection. We took all the golden years and put them together in one package for our re-launch, and now we have our 2013 set to be developed for a summer delivery, like all the other companies that are set to be delivered at that time. Our first year was a nod to the past, but going forward, we will be relevant to every demographic that we can reach out to in the sport.
Was it a surprise to see how well received the gear was or was that expected?
As a fan of JT my whole life, it wasn’t a surprise and that was one of the reasons that I did it. It was something that needed to be done during all the years that it was missing. But from a business standpoint and as an owner, it was a nice surprise. With it being a small industry but a big world, there is always going to be criticism and skepticism, and positivity and negativity. But with JT having the history and legacy that it has, it was a delicate matter to everybody in the sport. For us to take it on, we had to do it the right way, deliver the right type of product and quality, and not take away from what it used to be. That was important for us to do and we knew that we did it, which is why we got the results with the public. We took our time. If you noticed, we had our countdown earlier in the year and we weren’t fully ready to deliver the product. People had heard rumors for the last couple of years, since we took the brand over, and we didn’t want to just come out with any old thing. We wanted to make sure it was done right and it was important to wait and have the right product.
There is a lot to do to form a company, like the manufacturing and the design. Was it difficult to launch from the ground up?
It was very time consuming and why we took our time with it. We didn’t want to do it the wrong way and we knew that if we had the patience of the fans and the industry and kept the support alive by giving people a glimpse of what we were working on, we could stretch it out as long as we needed to, to make sure that we delivered the right product and the right approach to the market.
You mentioned that new gear is to be released for 2013 in the summer months. Will the new designs be strictly throwback styles like you have now, or will they be a more current design?
Most of it will be a more modern take. We did what we did last year to pay homage to the brand and what it did and the riders that we had on board, because they are the ones that built the brand along with John and Rita Gregory. That was then, but this is now. For 2013, you will see an all-new look for JT. If you see the side of the Motoconcepts bikes and the trailer, you will see the new version of our JT logo, which will be put in to our 2013 collection. We will have two more collections at different price points, in addition to the classic collection that we will keep in the stable. To bridge the gap of what we have now and what we will have in the summertime, we have taken our classic collection and refaced it with a matte selection. It will be a matte black helmet with neon green, neon orange, and a white color option with matching gear color ways as well. Even though it is the same chassis, the same design, graphics, and logo, you will see it when it comes out next month and starts shipping to dealers that it looks like a completely new set of gear. That was our way to add something in between and let people know that we are going in to the more current stage of the market. We used black to lead us in to the younger demographic and bridge the gap of what we have to what we are going to do.