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MAKING NEWS 4 Bauer Partners with Cocona Natural Technologies On New Hockey Technology 4 Bauer and G-Form Announce An Exclusive Partnership 5 Youth Sports Organizations Team Up To Form New Concussion Coalition 5 BSN Sports Acquires Sols 18 Industry Calendar

FEATURE 7 Equipped For Success In 2014, Football, Basketball and Soccer players will have the most advanced equipment to choose from at retail. 2151 Hawkins St. • Suite 200 • Charlotte • NC • 28203 t. 704.987.3450 • f. 704.987.3455

Cover photo courtesy McDavid Copyright 2013 SportsOneSource, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors to TEAM BUSINESS DIGITAL are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. TEAM BUSINESS DIGITAL is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles appearing in TEAM BUSINESS DIGITAL may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. TEAM BUSINESS DIGITAL is published monthly by SportsOneSource, LLC, 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450. Send address changes to TEAM BUSINESS DIGITAL , 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450




BAUER PARTNERS WITH COCONA NATURAL TECHNOLOGIES ON NEW HOCKEY TECHNOLOGY Bauer Performance Sports, Ltd. has partnered with Cocona Natural Technologies to unveil "37.5" technology for hockey, an advanced fast-drying moisture management process that will debut in Bauer Hockey's base layers, training apparel and protective equipment. Bauer Performance Sports and Cocona have an exclusive multiyear partnership through which Bauer plans to integrate 37.5 technology into training apparel, base layer and protective equipment across its platform. Bauer stated that fabric infused by Cocona's technology delivers an unprecedented level of performance, allowing athletes to spend more energy on their game, and not on temperature management. "Athletes have come to trust our products for the innovative technologies that elevate their game, and this exclusive agreement positions us as the first company to be delivering this innovation to the team sports we serve," said Kevin Davis, president and CEO, Bauer Performance Sports. "As we expand this partnership, we look forward to delivering 37.5 technology into other sports across our platform." The company said apparel with 37.5 technology dries up to six times faster than competitive products, using body heat to evaporate moisture and release sweat from under equipment. The technology adds a new moisture management system to base layer and protective equipment that helps regulate an athlete's body temperature and humidity level next to the skin, helping maximize performance. "This is an exciting launch for those of us who love hockey," said Jeff Bowman, CEO of Cocona. "Bauer is the first to take the 37.5 technology from the outdoor sports world where it is well established to team sports, where it can provide a competitive advantage." Cocona Natural Technologies is a global leader in providing innovative performance technologies from natural sources to the apparel, glove and footwear markets. The products with the new 37.5 technology will be available in retail stores this spring. 4


BAUER, G-FORM ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP Bauer Performance Sports, Ltd. announced a multiyear partnership with G-Form, LLC, a leader in the design and development of impact protection for elite athletes and consumer products. This exclusive partnership will utilize patented technologies developed by both companies to launch FlexOrb, an innovative new material to be used in several protective products across the Bauer Performance Sports platform. G-Form has developed leading athletic protective products utilizing its Reactive Protection Technology (RPT), a soft padded material that stiffens upon impact and absorbs more than 90 percent of energy transfer. RPT is a blend of PORON XRD, which is currently used in elite Bauer helmets and protective products, and other proprietary G-Form materials and composites. FlexOrb will debut in Bauer Hockey’s latest line of protective base layers and the company’s newest elite helmet, the Bauer RE-AKT 100, both of which were unveiled in early October at the company’s annual BauerWorld event. BauerWorld is a multi-sport weeklong product and apparel showcase with more than 600 of the world’s leading retailers.

YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS TEAM UP TO FORM NEW CONCUSSION COALITION A number of the nation’s most prominent youth sports organizations, as well as the NCAA and NFL, announced earlier this month that they will be partnering with concussion specialists, sports medicine professionals and leaders at other levels of sports to create an unprecedented coalition – called The National Sports Concussion Coalition – to prevent and manage concussions among young athletes. The founding youth sports and medical members of the coalition include the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS), Pop Warner Little Scholars, Sports Concussion Institute (SCI), U.S. Lacrosse, U.S. Youth Soccer, USA Hockey, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball, USA Basketball, USA Football, and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention. Coalition partners at the professional, college and

foundation levels include the NCAA, NFL, NFLPA and National Football Foundation. The National Sports Concussion Coalition said in a statement that it "expects to be the most comprehensive alliance of its kind, with science and medical leaders in the fields of concussions, brain injury and sports medicine working directly with a cross-section of organizations and governing bodies that represent millions of athletes across major organized sports in the United States." The coalition, which started discussions earlier this year and held a planning session in September, will aim to enhance participation in sports in the U.S. by providing a safer playing environment. The partnership will complement the safety initiatives of the individual organizations by sharing data and identifying best safety practices that can assist in coaching, playing and officiating across sports.

BSN SPORTS ACQUIRES SOLS Earlier this month, BSN Sports completed the acquisition of Beaver Distributing Company dba Sols of Ambridge (Sols), based in Ambridge, PA. Sols, family owned and operated since 1929, is a leading distributor of team apparel and equipment in western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Prior to the acquisition, Sols had been a member of the Athletic Dealers Association buying group.

“We are thrilled to welcome the men and women of Sols to the BSN Sports family,” said Adam Blumenfeld, the company’s chairman and CEO. “Myron Watzman and team are everything we look for in business partners. Their commitment to service, excellence and growth is a perfect cultural fit with the 350 sales professionals we have nationwide. We look forward to continued expansion throughout the Northeastern corridor.”

Blumenfeld stated that BSN Sports has now added over 100 sales professionals in the last 12 months including the addition of Sols. He credited the “tireless efforts” of Tevis Martin, BSN’s executive vice president; Bob Dickman, director of acquisitions; Michael Caravati, director of recruiting, and the company’s support and transition teams. TEAMBUSINESSDIGITAL.COM



Football, Basketball and Soccer players will have the most advanced equipment at their disposal in 2014. TEAM Business previews key protective gear, field equipment, balls and accessories that will be available at retail next year.

By Fernando J. Delgado

HEAD START: 2014 FOOTBALL EQUIPMENT The protective category in football has seen a noticeable shift upwards in average selling prices over the past decade, as awareness regarding concussions and serious head injuries has become an emphasis in the sport. Despite shrinking athletic budgets and a sluggish economy tightening spending of disposable income for families, business is still strong for sporting goods in general, and football protective equipment specifically. Quite simply, players and their parents are spending more to get the best protection to safeguard against serious injuries. This means big business and enticing profit margins for retailers and team dealers. It also provides an opportunity for sellers to provide quality customer service that makes a difference in the safety and health of the football players coming to them for help picking out equipment. “One of the key trends we’ve seen from a retail standpoint is that consumers – whether it’s parents or players – are doing their research and are willing to spend more on protective equipment,” stated Michael Oller, VP, consumer products at Riddell, Inc. “They’re asking questions, they’re more educated, they want to know what features are out there that they could incorporate or purchase within their helmet. So that’s a good thing for us as a manufacturer. An educated consumer is really what we’re looking for as we move forward. We want to connect that consumer with our innovations as we come out with helmets. We saw that this year more than in years past.” Helmets and shoulder pads are the two most vital equipment pieces for football players, and they also represent the highest price tags and margins for sellers. The balance between finding the right amount of protection with the best fit, performance and level of comfort is the challenge that all equipment manufacturers strive to find with their products. Next year will be another step forward, as leading brands, including Riddell, Schutt and Xenith offer the safest and best-performing helmets, shoulder pads, and protective accessories to date. “As far as what players are looking for, they’re more in tune with protection,” said Moller. “They want those features from a protective standpoint, but they also want comfort and fit. With rule changes in football, they want to make sure that their helmets are staying on, and they want

to feel comfortable in those helmets. We [at Riddell] are fortunate enough to have products that appeal to those players, and we’ve seen the success around that.” According to Moller, Riddell’s two most successful helmets are the Riddell 360 and the Riddell Speed. “Both helmets are the highest level of protection that we offer,” he stated. “The player is getting a great protective helmet. In

According to Moller, Riddell will have five different youth helmet models for 2014 ranging in price from $100 up to $300 at retail, with each model designed specifically for different levels of play. “Whether the player is a young beginner, or an experi-

Riddell Speed

Riddell 360

addition, both of those helmets have overliners, which consist of a material that lines the liners of the helmet, for comfort and fit. The 360 also has an additional inflation point at the back that locks in the player’s head a little better, with the enhanced occipital lock, which is that little knob on the back of the player’s head. It really cradles the back of the head and stabilizes the helmet, keeping the helmet secure so it can do its job.” The improved fit of the 360 is especially important for youth league and high school players, as rule changes require players to be removed from play if their helmet falls off or becomes dislodged. The 360 helps players’ stay on the field, as its fit and stability ensures that their helmets don’t fall off during play.

enced junior high player, we have a lot of different models that fit the particular needs of that player,” he shared. At Schutt, technology is melded with striking colors and helmet designs. Schutt’s Vengeance DCT Elite Helmet, set to retail at $255, is its newest helmet. The DCT, which stands for Dual Compression Technology, combines Schutt’s 5th generation of TPU Cushioning. The TPU contains durometers that are specifically designed to absorb high- and low-velocity impacts, highlighting just a few of the many technological features of the helmet. Another new helmet from Schutt is the adult AiR XP Pro, one of the lightest helmets on the market, and the only traditional standoff helmet left on the market for a retail price of $225. Schutt TEAMBUSINESSDIGITAL.COM


by the Custom Power will also feature several youth modCPK and the Power els, including the Recruit Hybrid, SPK pads, which carry $90, XP Hybrid, $90, Vengeance catalog-listing prices of DCT Hybrid +, $115, and Youth $435 and $299, respecAiR XP Pro, $190, among others. tively. “Everyone is always looking for “Our shoulder pad lighter and stronger,” said Glenn Schutt Vengeance line continues to grow, Beckmann, director of marketing Riddell CPK DCT Elite Helmet communications for Schutt Sports. and it mirrors what we’ve done with our helmets,” shared Riddell’s “We’re always looking into new poly- Moller. “We’re creating products that fit the needs of players. Our mers and new materials that we can elite level shoulder pads - branded under ‘Power’ – are the ones make helmets and faceguards from. you see at the NFL and college levels. We’ve taken some notes and We just introduced a newly engi- some leads off the Power shoulder pads and brought those features neered polymer padding for some of down to the youth and junior varsity levels. Things like flat pad our youth helmets called D3O. Ev- construction, air management materials, and corrugated caps, eperyone’s looking for that balance be- aulets, and arches. So when you get specific to shoulder pads, we tween lightweight and the best pro- have a broad, strong line that has pads that are the ‘children’ of our Schutt AiR XP Pro Power line of varsity pads. That ties back to what the players are tection.” Beckmann also shared some interesting observations regarding looking for – they’re looking for protection, but they’re also lookother notable trends in the protective equipment category. “One ing for performance. Years ago, Riddell was established as a protecof the negative trends that we see are third-party products that are tive company. But over the past several years, and now more than being promoted to be put on or in helmets,” he said. “I can’t tell ever, we’re leaning towards performance and protection, and we’ve you how many times a week I get an email from a company say- adopted the tagline of ‘Protect and Perform’. The athlete is looking ing, ‘We have the solution to the concussion problem. Put pad- for both, and they’re looking to Riddell for both.” With their shoulder pads, Riddell has emphasized flat pad conding on the outside of the helmet.’ It’s been tried in the past, and it’s failed. There’s been no scientific research or scientifically valid struction that keeps the pads tighter, and that also provides players data that says that those items actually enhance the performance with a better range of motion, all without sacrificing protection. of the helmet. With the potential risks involved with altering our “Our shoulder pads have been modernized, and not only do they helmets’ configuration, we strongly recommend against using it. look cool, but players really enjoy wearing them because it gives But there are still a lot of companies trying to take advantage of the them that ability to perform at a very high level,” said Moller. Schutt’s shoulder pads for 2014 are highlighted by the AiR Maxx situation involving head injuries and concussions. We don’t want to discourage innovation, but what we want these third party product Flex 2.0 and O2 Pro. The AiR Maxx Flexx 2.0, with a retail price of developers to do is make sure that they are telling their customers $300, features Triple Shoulder Protection, combining TPU, Energy all of the potential consequences. Alteration to the configuration Lock Technology with D3O and a clavicle channel system. This of a helmet may void the warranty on the helmet and can void the NOCSAE certification, for example. That would make the helmet illegal to use in the vast majority of organized football.” Despite some of the drawbacks to companies trying to take shortcuts to solve the concussion issue, technology remains a force for progress that is helping football become safer. “One trend that’s auxiliary to equipment Schutt O2 Pro is the collection of data surrounding head impacts,” Schutt AiR Maxx Flex 2.0 commented Beckmann. “Where the impact is occurring, how hard the impact is, how many impacts is a player at a particular age level state-of-the-art pad will be available in four arch styles -Skill, QB/WR, experiencing during the course of a game, a week of practice or a All Purpose and OL/DL – as well as in several custom colors and season. I think that is a very beneficial trend, because ultimately configurations. The O2 Pro, priced at $240, is a new body style and that data will help everyone involved figure out how to design lighter than the AiR Maxx Flex 2.0. The O2 Pro is the most breathbetter helmets and how to approach diagnosing and recognizing able shoulder pad in Schutt’s line as a result of O2 Windows and a perforated body cushion. head injuries a little bit better.” Several protective accessories, such as padded apparel, braces, Shoulder pads are another essential protective category for football players that require manufacturers to find the perfect balance sleeves, and mouthguards will highlight 2014 lines from various between the best protection and the lightest, most comfortable per- leading brands, including Wilson, Under Armour, Adidas, Schutt and Riddell, and from companies more rooted in sports medicine formance capabilities. Riddell’s shoulder pads for 2014 will be available in three distinct and protective performance gear such as Shock Doctor, EvoShield, levels: Varsity, JV, and Youth. Varsity level shoulder pads are led Pro-Tec and Cramer. 8


Under Armour Game Day Armour Girdle

Under Armour Game Day Short Sleeve Baselayer

Wilson’s new introductions in protective apparel and accessories for 2014 focus heavily on technology. Its new line of GST (Game Saving Technology) Football Protective Apparel features patentpending Double Density compression molded pads that are designed for specific areas of the body. Wilson designed a hard EVA foam outer layer to disburse hits across the top of the pad, with a softer inner layer of the pad against the body to absorb the impact. The line is led by the GST Double DenWilson GST sity 5 Pad Football Girdle, which Double Density will retail for $70. 5 Pad Football Wilson’s GST line of football Girdle gloves feature patent-pending TackTech 3D Palm Technology and one of the most advanced designs in football gloves in more than a decade. The GST glove line includes three different models designed for specific player positions on the field: the GST Trench for OL and DL, which will retail for $45 and have 3D grabbers designed to grab and handle a players jersey; GST Big Skill for LB, TE Wilson GST Trench and DE, which will retail $50 and are defined by a combo palm for both ball handling and tackling; and the GST Skill for WR, RB and DB, set to retail at $55 and specialized for ball handling.

Under Armour will introduce its thinnest and lightest protection system with the Game Day Armour Girdle and Game Day Short Sleeve Baselayer for men with a retail price of $75. Both pieces meet NFHS standards and feature compression in the form of an ultra-tight, second-skin fit that keeps football players’ muscles fresh and their recovery time fast. “Accessories are a big part of our retail business,” said Riddell’s Moller. “Chin straps are especially important, as they are tied directly with the helmet. In 2013, we rolled out a new chin strap called the TCP (True Curve Protection). “It’s really a hybrid of a soft cup chin strap and a hard cup chin strap. It has the fit of a soft cup, with the shell protection of a hard cup. This was also in response to the helmet rule changes, as players wanted the fit of a soft cup to keep the helmet secure. We look at it as an opportunity to create a new chin strap different than anything else on the market. If the helmet stays on the head, the player stays in the game, and the player stays protected. The TCP Chin Strap is allowing us to excel in that area.” Moller also anticipates strong programs and sell-through of Riddell’s padded apparel. “Riddell’s launch of padded apparel really resonated with the consumer. We’ve seen the brand grow from just helmets and shoulder pads, and now we have accessories and apparel. We’re expanding our reach at retail, and that’s really exciting for us. Shock Doctor, meanwhile, seeks to remain a leader in sports protection and performance in 2014 by continuing to innovate through technology. The company will launch its Ultra Pro Chin Strap in Fall 2014 at a retail price of $25. The Ultra Pro is TEAMBUSINESSDIGITAL.COM


Shock Doctor Ultra Pro Chin Strap

designed for comfort and performance, is lightweight and extremely durable. The strap features Airflow cooling channels that release heat for a comfortable playing experience without sacrificing protection. “Football players on every level and every age rely on chin straps to protect them from impacts from opponent's shoulder pads and helmets," said Tony Armand, Shock Doctor’s CEO. “With its Triple Grip NoSlip snaps, the Ultra Pro Chin Strap reduces the possibility that a helmet will come off during play after a hard hit, so players will perform better feeling confident in their level of helmet protection.” McDavid will bring sleek new protective apparel to the market next year, led by the 7932 Hex Sleeveless Shirt / 5-pad and 737 Hex Thudd Short. The Hex Sleeveless Shirt / 5-pad will retail at $80 Adult/$70 Youth,

McDavid Hex Sleeveless Shirt / 5-pad

McDavid 737 Hex Thudd Short

and uses strategically positioned 9mm Hex Technology to protect the critical areas of the shoulders, ribs and spine. The Hex Thudd Short, priced at $65 adult/$60 youth, also features Hex Technology and is designed to adjust to a football player’s movement for continuous protection at the hips, tailbone and thighs. Zamst’s main football protect for 2014 is the ZK-7 Knee Support. The ZK-7, with a retail price of $80, is the strongest knee support for moderate to severe sprains of the ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL. The item’s Exo-Tech QUAD provides 4-way ligament support with resin stays to support Zamst ZK-7 Knee medial and lateral stability Support



as well as x-strap and parallel straps for effective anterior and posterior stability to the ACL/PCL. The ZK-7’s i-Fit technology provides a semi-open design to deliver an individualized fit to help prevent slipping, while the flyweight lightweight material fabrication designed with V-Tech flow through ventilation enhances cooling while in motion. Cramer Product’s Thunder 7 Girdle is a premium protective apparel piece, retailing for around $38, featuring permanently attached hip, tail, thigh and knee pads. The 7-pad integrated girdle also features hard thigh pads made from Cramer’s new Spider Web EVA foam, and reinforced with high impact plastic shells for maximum protection. Cramer Product’s EvoShield’s 2014 football Thunder 7 Girdle protective line offers new items including its Padded Protective Arm Sleeve at $30 retail. Made with performance compression fabric for maximum breathability and support, the sleeve keeps blood circulating throughout the game and promotes faster muscle recovery. The Hybrid Pro Rib Shirt and Hybrid Pro Girdle, $90 and $85, respectively, are available in adult and youth sizes.

EvoShield Padded Protective Arm Sleeve

EvoShield Hybrid Pro Rib Shirt

EvoShield Hybrid Pro Girdle

Both are designed to protect the ribs, legs and hips of NFL athletes, providing the combination of lightweight performance and maximum protection. All EvoShield football protective apparel will be available at big box and specialty sporting goods retailers and various online retailers. In the Balls Category, ever-improving materials will be found in footballs that will be available from several brands. Spalding will bring the TF-SB1 Football to market. With a retail price of $100, the TF-SB1 incorporates exclusive Spiral Balance Technology, which leads to tighter and more accurate passes. This ball utilizes a lighter color than most traditional footballs for improved visibility, while its Horween “S” tack leather cover creates an improved grip.

Spalding TF-SB1 Football

Wilson is excited to offer its GST Football in 2014, which will be available at leading big box retailers, team dealers and directly from the manufacturer. “As far as footballs are concerned, our highlight item is still the GST (Game Saving Technology) football that is the number one selling leather game football,” said Craig Kopash, business director, American football, Wilson. “The GST offers our exclusive GST leather that uses less tanning to allow more tack to come to the surface and a deeper pebble. The GST also offers the patented ACL (Accurate Control Lacing) and patented sewn-on composite stripes.” During 2012, Wilson tested with eight select FBS level colleges a Wilson Prestige Program that allowed the schools to build their ball from the ground up. “You may have seen these footballs used on the field by Notre Dame as they made their National Championship run or by Texas A&M and their quarterback’s award-filled year,” commented Kopash. “This year we expanded the program to 20 schools and for 2014 it will be open to all college programs.” He added that those testing colleges were able to select from two different patterns, the exclusive Wilson Pro Pattern or the Collegiate/High School pattern. Wilson also opened up the color options on all brand identities on the GST for the first time, and allowed schools up to three colors to match the brand logo and valve panels to their school colors. Teams can also choose their own logo in foil colors on the third panel. The GST football features sizing that is unique and exclusive to the brand. “Wilson is the only company that offers two sizes in the GST and Traditional lines that conform to NCAA and NHFS standards,” continued Kopash. “We offer not only the smaller 1003/1005/1205 pattern balls that are made to the smallest specs of the NCAA and NHFS rules, but Wilson is also the only company that can offer the NFL pattern ball in a stripped NCAA/HS ball -1001 and 1004. This is especially important for quarterbacks with larger hands or players looking to transition to the NFL.” The GST football’s patented sewn-on composite stripe boasts 82 percent more grip than traditional laces, while its ACL system makes the ball’s laces 174 more gripable than traditional laces or the latigo lace system used in NFL game footballs. Wilson’s Standard GST Football will retail at $70, while the Prestige GST will sell for $130. Wilson Prestige GST


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HOOPING IT UP: 2014 BASKETBALL EQUIPMENT When it comes to protective equipment, basketball players playing on the hardwood are the polar opposite of football players on the gridiron. Whereas football players are armed to the teeth with protective gear, basketball players wear a minimal amount of gear less over and under their uniforms. Chris Barry, a sales associate at The Sports Authority in Nottingham, MD, interacts with athletes on the sales floor year-round and shared his observations. “The primary basketball equipment that people come in for, aside from shoes, are knee braces and balls,” said Barry. “We do have some sleeves; most of the sleeves that we have are from McDavid, and they have padding on the elbows. Those are actually huge sellers.” The sleeve category has taken off in recent years for basketball players, representing a trend started by NBA players. “I think they sell well because most of the kids playing basketball are going for what looks good,” stated Barry. “They’re not going for protection with sleeves, to be honest. They want what looks good, and what is in. What really helps sleeves, especially those from McDavid, is that they give players support in their arms, and they help blood flow, especially with compression. And if they do fall on the court, the padding helps prevent bruises and the player won’t be hurt as badly.” McDavid’s newest sleeve for 2014 is the 6500 Hex Shooter Arm Sleeve. Set to retail McDavid 6500 Hex Shooter Arm at $20 and available in four colors, the Hex Sleeve Shooter utilizes 9mm Hex Technology positioned at the elbow and arm compression that maintains muscle warmth and prevents abrasions and scratches. The machine washable and dryable sleeve includes hDc Moisture Management Technology to keep basketball players cool and dry. Shock Doctor’s leading sleeve will be the Velocity Shockskin Basketball Arm Sleeve. Retailing at $30, the Velocity Shockskin sleeve is lightweight and breathable. Technological features include Pure-Vent direct ventilation that amplifies airflow throughout padded areas, in addition to variable stretch materials that allow for unrestricted arm and elbow movement. “Honestly, I think that kids seeing NBA players wearing sleeves is the biggest reason for sleeves selling well,” continued Barry. “The bottom line is that Shock they look good. Players might say that sleeves help Doctor them out shooting the ball, and compression sleeves Velocity Shockskin do help with blood flow, but college and NBA playBasketball Arm ers who wear sleeves today influence a majority of Sleeve kids. They’re trying to look good.” Mouthguards are a popular protective accessory with basketball players, who are always cognizant of protecting themselves against inadvertent flailing elbows. “Shock Doctor, with the Nano Double Mouthguard, usually sells well for us, and we expect them to lead the way in 2014,” observed Barry. Shock Doctor’s basketball mouthguards for 2014 are highlighted by the Basketball STC Mouthguard, in addition to the Nano Double Mouthguard called out by The Sports Authority’s Barry. The Basketball STC retails for $20 and is fully equipped with a gel-fit liner for a snug, comfortable mold to an athlete’s teeth. The Nano Double, priced at $25, is a dual-arch, low profile mouthguard designed to amplify upper and lower jaw protection. It is also equipped with Shock Doctor’s Tri-Bite and MORA technology for a comfortable, correctly positioned bite. 12


Shock Doctor Basketball STC Mouthguard

Shock Doctor Nano Double Mouthguard

Pro-Tec will be helping basketball players protect their legs and feet with two new products, among several other protective items offered by the Redmond, WA-based sports medicine manufacturer. Pro-Tec’s Gel Force Knee Support is a great sports medicine piece for basketball players – as well as athletes in any

Pro-Tec Gel Force Ankle Support

Pro-Tec Gel Force Knee Support

other sport - recovering from knee injuries or looking for extra support and protection The Gel Force Knee Support retails for $30. Medical applications for the support include Patello-Femoral pain syndrome, Patellar tracking, chondromalacia, and minor meniscus and ligament tears. The company’s Gel Force Ankle Support is essential for players suffering from ankle sprains, basketball’s most widespread injury. “The Gel Force Ankle Support is made with breathable material, fits like a sock, and provides compression and medial and lateral support,” said Jennie Habersetzer, marketing and sales at Pro-Tec Athletics. “It’s common for basketball players to wear, and it fits nicely in a basketball shoe.” Pro-Tec items can be found at specialty running and sporting goods stores. Cramer Products’ Performance Shorts are ideal for basketball players to wear under their uniform or practice shorts to improve their game. Retailing at $60, the shorts consist of high stretch panels that provide compression and support to core muscle groups Cramer Products’ Performance Shorts

during intense activity. In addition, abdom- point range. That’s compared to the inal support panels also provide compres- official NBA leather basketball, which sion to core muscle groups, while the seam- sells for $150. That ball would be the less side panel construction offers comfort. high end.” When it comes to basketballs, a few notaIn the field equipment category, ble models are explayers can turn to training hoops to pected to be hot for improve their shooting. Goalrilla, a 2014. “There are a leader in sports training equipment, couple basketballs will have the CV 60 Basketball System that we expect to available at Dick’s Sporting Goods and sell well in 2014,” specialty retailers nationwide. With said Barry. “The a retail price of about $1400, the CV Spalding TF1000 60 is capable of handling over 1000 Spalding TF1000 Classic Classic Adult Baspounds of vertical torque to the rim. Adult Basketball ketball comes to mind first. I’ve probably It is constructed with a one-piece steel had three or four high school coaches come pole for strength, as well as an all-steel, in and buy six or seven balls. It has a mi- precise height adjustment, from 7 ½ feet crofiber composite so the leather’s going to to 10 feet. be better, the ball is longer lasting, and the bladder is better because it holds more air. The bounce is supposed to be great with that particular ball.” Aside from Spalding, Wilson, Adidas, and Nike, Barry singled out Under Armour as a brand rapidly gaining market share and popularity in the basketball category. “Under Armour is going to be one of the biggest companies soon, especially in basketball and football. Everything that they’re doing now is tremendous,” he explained. “Nike’s going to outpace Under Armour in shoes, but when it comes to apparel, balls, and some equipment, Under Armour is going to be up there.” The Under Armour 495 Indoor/ Outdoor Basketball, which retails for $30 and can be found at all major big box retailers, is expected to be a big seller in 2014. Barry added Under Armour 495 Indoor/ Outdoor Basketball that Under Armour’s rapid rise can be attributed to effective marketing, persistent brand-building, and desirable products that resonate with consumers. According to Barry, price points for basketballs have stayed fairly consistent in the mid- and mid-to-upper range over the past few years. “The Spalding TF1000 is going to be about $70. But then you also the Spalding NeverFlat Ball, which is also a great ball and stays inflated about 10 times longer than any other ball, retailing for $55,” he said. “I would say any ball Goalrilla CV 60 from around $40 to about Basketball System $80 would be considered the mid-to-upper end price Spalding NeverFlat Ball



JUST FOR KICKS: 2013 SOCCER more narrowly on the foot and leg, where EQUIPMENT compared to Adidas, which have a more Soccer players will also benefit from in- natural fit. Adidas shin guards will provide creasingly advanced equipment, whether in more coverage than Nike shin guards, and the form of shin guards, balls, soccer goals, they will cover a majority of the leg, instead or protective accessories. of just the shin.” Unlike hardgoods in other sports, shin Oftentimes, shin guard purchases are guards remain a more functional necessity made with affordability in mind, especially that depends less on technological features for younger players. It’s not until players than other higher-priced protective pieces. get older and more serious that shin guard “Depending on the player’s age and what purchases and preferences may get more level they’re playing in, shin guards can help specialized, but even then, most soccer tremendously,” shared The Sports Author- players see shin guards as a basic necessity, ity’s Barry. “If you’re from age 15 to about and not an item that they expect perfor20, playing club ball or high school, you’re mance or technologically advanced protecnot going to need anything too protective, tion from. “I’m also a coach, and with most unless you injured your ankle or you really of the kids that I know, their parents will want to protect yourself. Most of the time, buy them the cheapest shin guards and the soccer players just put on something simple cheapest cleats, and they just go out and that covers a little of the shin, and they run. play,” said Barry. “Even players who play Kids in Europe use cardboard and put that club and travel soccer, they’re usually going on their shins and go running.” for something that covers most of the shin, Barry observed that one shin guard in that they can fit easily under their socks, particular that a lot of people have been and get cleared by the referees so that they buying for kids ages 10 and below is the can play.” Nike Youth Charge Shin The men's Adidas Nitrocharge Pro Guards, which retails for Shin Guards, with a retail price of about $15. “Most people are $20, should be a big seller for next loyal to brands, whether they year. Designed with a light and flexlike Nike or they like Adidas,” ible shield, these shin guards feature he stated. “But if somebody an easy slip-in construction and comappreciates the sport as much pression fabric that helps support as the avid players do, they blood flow. A compression sleeve will go for what’s best for Adidas Nitrocharge Pro supports blood flow back to the body them. I’m a serious player, and Shin Guards center, while soft synthetic lining I used to love Adidas shoes. makes these guards comfortable. But since I’ve gotten older, I’ve switched Wilson’s NCAA Forte Shin Guard, retailover to Nike, and I also switched to Umbro ing for $25, will be a key new shin guard cleats when I was 14. Every brand fits a little for 2014. This NCAA-branded guard has a differently. Nike cleats and shin guards fit comfort fit Lycra sleeve with power band 14


enhancements for added compression and muscle circulation with a removable inner shell. NOCSAE approved, the NCAA Forte is Wilson’s NCAA available in 3 sizes dictated Forte Shin by player height. Guard Franklin Sports will offer a high performing, affordable shin guard with its MLS Premier Shin Guards. Priced at $20, the MLS Premiers feature an air tube enhanced shell that increases abrasion resistance and impact resistance. Its adjustable straps conform to leg size while poly backing enhances comfort and feel, and a detachable ankle pad with comfort stirrup ensures a proper and customized fit. Storelli Sports is an emerging manufacturer that will be offering premium soccer equipment in 2014. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Storelli Sports is the first and only brand dedicated to soccer protectivewear. Storelli’s signature item is the ExoShield HeadStorelli Sports ExoShield guard, a potentially Headguard groundbreaking guard that helps protect against impacts to the head. Set to retail at online specialty retailers for about $60, the ExoShield is the most protective soccer headguard on the market, worn by world-class professional players in English Premier League and Champions League. It has outperformed traditional headguards in scientific protection testing and reduces the effect of G-forces by over 50 percent, with a cool design that avoids the traditional “helmet” look. The ExoShield incorporates the same lightweight



open-cell viscoelastic foam used in combat-grade military helmet liners, and is constructed specifically for soccer with best-in-class materials to provide superior impact absorption, temperature control, breathability and comfort. Storelli will also have its BodyShield Leg Guards as a feature item for next year. With a $40 price tag, the BodyShield Leg Guards feature high-performance Poron XRD polyurethane foam for maximum protection from impact and abrasion. It also includes advanced anti-microbial treatment, which reduces the risk of infections. These guards are also flexible and comfortable, as its unique padding design and placement enhances mobility without compromising protection. Zamst will be helping soccer players reinforce, protect and recover better than ever with their support technology. One of Zamst’s key items in soccer is the TS-1 Compression Thigh Support, which will retail at $50. The TS-1 provides comStorelli Sports pressive muscular support for the thigh BodyShield Leg Guards muscles – the quadriceps, adductors and hamstrings. It’s i-Fit technology allows for easy application and adjustable twoway compression for enhanced comfort and concentrated muscle support, and the support’s anatomical design ensures a customized fit, superior support and excellent heat retention. Pro-Tec will offer several premium Zamst TS-1 Compression sports medicine items for soccer playThigh Support ers dealing with injuries and pain. ProTec’s Ankle Wrap, about $19, has a form-fitting neoprene sleeve for compression, making it an excellent treatment for ankle sprains. White straps can be wrapped around as tightly as necessary for additional support. The Knee Pro-Tec Patellar Tendon Strap, which can be used for any sport and is priced at $17, is especially useful for soccer players. It provides targeted compression to the base of the patellar tendon to stabilize the knee so the joint can track correctly. The strap Pro-Tec is most often used for pain centrally Ankle Wrap located around the patella or kneecap, an especially for patellar tendonitis and Osgood-Schlatters disease. For field equipment, Goalrilla will have goals and training systems to help soccer players hone their shooting skills. Brand new is the Goalrilla Gamemaker Soccer Goal line, an innovative line of air-pressurized, durable and transportable soccer goals. The Gamemaker gives soccer players the ability to pump up a sturdy goal, which reaches its full size in 90 seconds, and replicates the Pro-Tec Patellar Tendon Strap authentic play of a traditional steel goal. Depending on the goal size, the retail price ranges from $180 to $700. Goalrilla’s Striker Trainer, $350, is a double-sided soccer 16


Goalrilla Gamemaker Soccer Goal

goal for strengthening essential soccer skills, as well as shooting and scoring potential for players of all ages. Both the Gamemaker and Striker Trainer will be available at soccer specialty retailers, on-line at and at other sporting goods stores. Several cool soccer balls will be available for 2014. “I personally Goalrilla Striker Trainer like the Wembley Ball from Adidas,” shared Barry. “Nike will have the Incyte, which includes the La Liga and Series A versions, and those will be some of the biggest sellers, because kids love playing with the balls used by the pros.” The NCAA Forte FYbrid Premium Match Ball from Wilson is another key soccer ball for 2014. Retailing at $120, the NCAA Forte FYbrid is the official ball of the NCAA Soccer Championships. Both NCAA and FIFA approved and available in four colors, it boasts Fused Panel Technology, which minimizes water and moisture intake, making it both highperforming and durable in all Wilson NCAA Forte FYbrid Premium kinds of game conditions. Match Ball Adidas will be rolling out the Finale Lisbon OMB Ball at retail for $150. Rigorously tested to receive the highest FIFA rating, the Finale Lisbon OMB is the official match ball for the UEFA 2014 Champions League tournament. Technology is a point of emphasis with this ball, as it is thermally bonded with a seamless surface for superior touch and low water uptake. It also has a butyl Adidas Finale Lisbon OMB Ball bladder for best air retention. Once again, the trend of young players drawing inspiration from their favorite professional players has led to big demand for pro-style equipment. “Kids want to look like they’re playing with a professional ball,” said The Sports Authority’s Barry. ■

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TEAM Business Digital I October, 2013