Student apparel business sponsors amateur athletes

Hannah Matro

Amateur athletes around the world go undiscovered and unnoticed, but WEB, an apparel company and athlete support organization started in 2010 by a Grand Valley State University student, is trying to change that.

WEB’s founder Kalvin Bowery, a GVSU junior finance major, was one of these under-the-radar athletes, riding motocross for the majority of his pre-college years.

“I know what it’s like to be held back,” Bowery said. “This experience is what motivated me to start WEB: anything is possible with the wisdom of God, the encouragement to succeed and if you believe it’s possible.”

That wisdom, encouragement and belief make up the WEB acronym that the company goes by.

The company has two major facets, apparel and athlete development programs (ADPs). Bowery and a close friend design the apparel side of WEB who then contract out for production. The team is currently working with GVSU fraternities, sororities and others for input on a new line.

“We want our clothing to be comfortable and stylish,” Bowery said. “Being custom made, our clothing is different — it’s unique, form fitting and more representative of the action sport lifestyle.”

WEB has another goal outside of and more important than adorning action sport athletes in attire: their ADPs.

Currently, WEB sponsors one motocross rider, whom they fund through five percent of their sales profit. This support can take the form of acquiring practice days for their rider at a track, paying for race entry fees or bike maintenance. These programs are designed to give the rider experience and support as well as to achieve a professional level.

Though numerous companies — often big names like NIKE and Adidas — support athletes through programs like this, WEB is unique because they focus on the amateurs. Big companies, Bowery said, are not taking the athletes on the lower end to help them succeed.

“We support action sports and with our knowledge, experience and products we can help change the lives of thousands of struggling amateur action sport athletes in Michigan by giving them the support to go live their dream,” he said. “Tons of kids have potential to exceed expectations and be the next big thing, but this issue is no one wants to give them the chance. We want to change that.”

Currently, WEB is registered as Michigan limited liability company.

In 10 years, Bowery hopes for national recognition. He and his business companions — fellow GVSU students Zach Plumb, Uriah Maczala and Jacob Jewells and alumnus Ben Barker — are working on a bigger program structure that Bowery said he would not divulge just yet, but one he is certain will change the game on how amateur athletes of all sports are sought out.

Bowery said he is open to all support offered by other students at GVSU. For more information, visit their website or

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