Schutt Sports – DNA Football Practice Gear

In college football, NCAA regulations had limited the amount of practices that teams could hold wearing full pads, which increased the amount of unpadded practices. Schutt Sports recognized an unfulfilled opportunity in the football equipment industry. What Schutt realized was that unpadded practices were just as physical and intense as padded practices, giving players a need for protective practice gear that the NCAA would not consider to be full padding. Committing to creating an entirely new product category, Schutt came to fredsparks to make it happen.

We worked with players, coaches, trainers and parents alike to determine exactly what the new product needed. What followed was a difficult, but expected balancing act. Players wanted it to be comfortable and light enough to work out in while trainers and parents wanted it to be strong enough to protect against significant impacts. Coaches wanted them to pass under NCAA guidelines, equipment managers wanted them to be easily washed and fredsparks wanted them to look good. They say you can’t please everyone, but with the DNA practice gear, we did.

We created a multi-purpose garment protective enough for the field and light enough for weight room. It features a material that both wicks away moisture and fits to the contours of any body and a beaded protective foam that creates natural air channels to reduce heat issues. Adding gussets and floating rib padding to the sides made it easier to remove and fit every body type. What made it even more versatile was the addition of removable shoulder pads so that players who needed shoulder protection could use them while players who required maximum mobility could remove them.

With everyone happy, the sales did the talking. In addition to generating intellectual property for Schutt, the DNA Practice Gear exceeded initial sales forecasts by 250%. We helped Schutt capitalize on the soaring success by creating a matching girdle and our design was featured in the July issue of International Design Magazine  as one of the year’s best designed products.

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