Getting Back Into The Game

CLIENT: Rawlings


SERVICES: Design, Engineering, Prototyping

Rawlings is well known as a leading marketer and manufacturer of baseball equipment in the United States. Their heritage is founded in protective gear and their company has been built around helping athletes get in the game and stay in the game. While much of their success has been rooted in baseball, Rawlings is still a heavy hitter in the football world. They approached us with the desire to get back in the football helmet game; a game they had been absent from for two-decades.


Gaining Momentum

How do you penetrate a competitive and saturated market? Go in it, to win it. Rawlings went back into the game full throttle. Their goal was to create an aesthetically conservative helmet with an unconventional padding system. They were targeting not only the players on all levels, but also the coaches, equipment managers, and even Mom. Part of their strategy was to ensure that everyone involved in the game could see the advantages of this new helmet.

The NRG series (Neuro Responsive Gear) – was set to be the flagship brand name for the full Rawlings helmet line. Development focused on the entire helmet from the inside out. After countless iterations of concepts, 2D patterns, CAD and multiple levels of prototypes to verify size, shape, fit and coverage, the innovative features of the Rawlings NRG Quantum helmet emerged.

Externally, the high-impact polycarbonate shell features the Rawlings Heat Exchange™ – strategically placed venting along the crown creating optimum airflow, allowing maximum temperature control, and protecting players from overheating. A specialized ear opening allows airflow into the helmet as well as enabling communication between players.

Internally, the NRG series is constructed with a unique protection system of communicating channels that dissipate impact force. The first layer of pressurized pods absorbs the bulk of the force from a blow. The second layer provides a custom fit tailored to each individual player. These pods utilize proprietary XRD foam due to being one of the best materials for shock attenuation. XRD technology dissipates the impact force to the skull without structural breakdown.


Keeping Score

Variations of the Rawlings NRG Quantum helmet can be seen on the field in youth football, on Saturdays at the NCAA level and also on Sundays in the NFL. Rawlings’ superior brand reputation, combined with the innovative helmet design, has assisted them in reaching their goal- to get back into the game and reach multiple levels of consumers.

Post Game Report

In 2012, The Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings™ by Dr. Stefan Duma, professor of biomedical engineering and head of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, announced that the NRG Line was recognized with the highest-possible, “Best Available” 5-Star ranking. That marked the first year any Rawlings football helmet was tested and rated as Rawlings’ re-entry into the marketplace. The results from Virginia Tech’s STAR testing protocol affirm Rawlings’ long-lasting heritage of innovation in athlete protection.

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