I started Hup United in 2002. Three other friends humored my idea that a team could be formed around a single European sporting word of encouragement. We all worked at Seven Cycles at the time. My brother Luke designed the original Hup mark, and created the majority of iconic sketches you see on t-shirts, decals, and toll booths along the I-90 corridor. The original Hup kit was designed about a block away from the IF logo castle in Somerville, MA on top of Union Square. At that time, nobody really wanted to live in Union Square.
In 2003, Hup United slowly became noticed in the sub-sub-sub culture of Northeast cyclocross racing. Most people didn't get it because 1) we had no sponsor 2) we were not a club with 50 years of history 3) at least two of us weren't white. Back in 2002, there was no such thing as a lifestyle team. I won't go as far as saying I invented the concept of a lifestyle team. It would have eventually happened. But think about it, the current landscape of lifestyle teams where the primary goal is to design a kit first, and care about results or sponsors last, well.....they mainly started after 2002.
Slowly, Hup United began to catch waves, and began popping up around the country. Richard Fries was one of the first announcers to catch the joke of a lifestyle team, and went with the concept for multiple cross seasons.
Hup was first spotted in small pockets where I already had friends....Chicago (TB), Michigan (MC), Minneapolis (MP), California (DH). Three dudes from the ad agency giant WK stopped by Seven Cycles in 2005 for a Brady/Nike spot and caught the Hup bug. That spread to Oregon like a bad habit and the Northwest suddenly went crazy for Hup. For a short period of time, the big joke was to wear Hup United and make pictures with as many athletes as possible: Sharapova, Stoudemire, Armstrong.
By 2007, every town crazy for cyclocross, had Hup United representation. And home and away kit. Most recently, Hup United in New England has been as strong as ever. Attend any cross race in the Boston area and the Hup clan will be front and center.
What has been central to Hup for the last decade are three tenants: relationships last, sponsorship does not; cycling kit matters; one Hup finds another. Over the last decade, Hup United has pushed out nine unique kits. I am eternally grateful to Selman for his talent and direction when Hup made the transition from Green>Hincapie Blue>Vermarc Blue. It was JS who made things tight and right as you know today. JS, thank you. If I was forced to name them, they go something like green, original blue, original blanco, new blue, NOIR, new blanco cubed, new NOIR cubed, new blue cubed, CA special edition. It's likely I'm forgetting one.
Hup United has created an unmistakable identity through cycling clothing, and forged life-long friendships, all due to a three letter word.
In 2015, Hup United hits the www with the belief that clothing can create community. Go find each other out there and take care of one another.
Founder, Hup United