Success in Sports is now being linked to the longevity of the participants.Any sport can no longer measured solely by how many points you score on game day. It’s now gauged by how coaches, players, administrators and leagues officials integrate advanced technology and innovation into every facet of their programs. Riddell, a name very familiar to athletes recognized and rewarded seven teams for building a smarter, safer game as part of its inaugural Smarter Football program.
Founded in 1929, Riddell is viewed by many as a premier designer and developer of protective sports equipment and a recognized leader in helmet technology and innovation. One of BRG Sports’ most well-known brands, Riddell is the leading manufacturer of football helmets, shoulder pads and reconditioning services (cleaning, repairing, repainting and recertifying existing equipment
Riddell has been on the forefront of football equipment innovation for more than 80 years, created the Smarter Football initiative to bring together the broader football community and promote smarter tactics both on and off the field. Players, coaches, administrators, parents and fans at all levels of play were called on to join the movement by incorporating the latest tools, teachings and techniques into their programs.
As part of the initiative, Riddell also pledged a combined $100,000 in new equipment to the teams that best demonstrated how a grant would strengthen their commitment to fostering a smarter game. Programs across the country, from youth clubs just mastering the basics to more experienced semi-pro squads playing at the highest level of competition, took part in sharing their stories.
Hundreds of entries showcased teams’ unique approach to football and seven of those programs stood out in demonstrating how a smarter game spans far beyond winning and losing. The recipients of the 2015 Riddell Smarter Football equipment grants are:
•Juniata Thunder cats (Philadelphia, PA)
•Boyne City Ramblers (Boyne City, MI)
•Ypsilanti Panthers (Ypsilanti, MI)
•Pioneer Titans (Whittier, CA)
•Natick Redhawks (Natick, MA)
•101 Warriors (Westlake, CA)
•Jensen Beach Falcons (Jensen Beach, FL)
Among the winning entries were teams whose coaches provide off-field mentoring services and access to community involvement opportunities that build character in young athletes. Others use football as a means of teaching basic fundamentals like teamwork and exercise to underserved communities, but can hardly keep their program afloat because of economic hardships.
“We’re thrilled to recognize this year’s Smarter Football grant winners for their commitment to building a stronger future for the sport and for their communities,” said Riddell President Dan Arment. “
Riddell has a longstanding history of leveraging smarter tools and tactics to advance the game, and we’re proud to provide a platform for the broader football community to showcase how they’re making the game a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.”
For Riddell, Smarter Football represents the way the brand integrates engineering expertise with data and cutting-edge materials to develop new equipment. This practice manifests itself through products like InSite, the company’s head impact monitoring system for all levels that now identifies impact location, and SpeedFlex, its latest helmet that features flexibility in strategic areas of the helmet to help manage impact force transfer to the athlete.
The entire football community from youth to professional needs to come together to help shape the future of the sport, and Riddell appears dedicated to breaking new ground to foster a safer, smarter game.
When Anthony Palmeiri, the head coach of the Jensen Beach Falcons was asked how did he think the parents and youth players felt about the opportunity to use “state of the art” equipment he said ” Our parents and players are going to be very appreciative. Opposing teams , in more affluent areas , have teased and made3 fun of our players due to our older equipment. We have a large percentage of who are unable to purchase their own Riddell equipment.
That is what it is all about and that’s what will sustain youth sports in our communities.