INNOVATION INSPIRED BY NECESSITY
When we started out, there was no 'history of the game.' We were inventing it right there on the spot. Everything was a first. How did we know what to make? It's what we needed to play. It was innovation inspired by necessity.
In wet weather football players have a foot problem. Leather cleats nailed to the bottom of shoe won't cut it. And if the local cobbler is too busy to fix them, then it's "sorry boys."
In 1922, John T. Riddell had run into this problem too many times with his high school football team. So Riddell took matters into his own hands and invented the removable cleat.
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
1939. A wipe-the-slate-clean, make-a-difference moment. Erasing forty-five years of "this'll do." It all started with two pieces of plastic. This is what football looks like. From this point on when you wear this helmet, you are a football player.
THE FIRST PLASTIC FOOTBALL HELMET AN EARLY PROTOTYPE THAT WOULD LEAD TO RIDDELL'S RT2 MODEL
FROM THE GRIDIRON TO THE BATTLEFIELD
Strategy always leads innovation in product. It's not surprising the most innovative strategist of WWII would want the most innovative products to support his troops.
War was imminent and the Army needed a new helmet. The WWI-era M-1917 was uncomfortable and offered inadequate protection. Six months before Pearl Harbor, the Army approved the shell of the M1 helmet. All that remained was finding a suitable solution for the liner and suspension system.
SMALL TOWN BIG FOOTBALLThe original Friday Night Lights. America becomes a football nation one community at a time. Riddell is now at all levels of football in a big way - NFL, college and high school.
TOUGH ENOUGH FOR FOOTBALL TOUGH ENOUGH FOR WAR
The Army found its answer in a new football helmet. After seeing helmets worn by the Packers, General Patton contacted Riddell and requested examples to evaluate as a possible tanker's helmet. At Patton's request, Riddell contacted the Army and was put in touch with the very man tasked with completing the M1 overhaul. Soon, the Army licensed the technology and millions of troops were equipped with a safer, better-fitting helmet.
Innovation for sport informs innovation for combat. Football provided the inspiration. Riddell provided the solution.
The Riddell Suspension, personally tested and endorsed by Major General Patton. Football and combat. Two pursuits with a common bond: the safety and utility of their equipment. And so innovation for sport became innovation for war. How's that for validation? Not a bad spokesman.
BETWEEN THE SCREWS
In 1961 Pete Rozelle moves the NFL headquarters to New York City to be closer to the all-powerful networks. Television is theater and sports is becoming the biggest thing on TV. To this day the connection of television to football, started in 1964, is the model that dominates all sports.
Soon after, Riddell created one of the strongest branding placements in all sports for all to see every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The Riddell word mark is now located front and center, between the screws.
NEVER SETTLERiddell continues to innovate and improve the fit of the football helmet with an inflatable liner system.
ICONIn the 1980s, Riddell's VSR4 helmet rises to an icon of the game. The classic football helmet silhouette with it's circular ear hole, clean face mask lines and perfectly rounded dome, still exists as the classic indication of America's favorite sport.
BIGGER FASTER STRONGER
The game of football has always been one of constant evolution. But the rate at which it has evolved in the past 10 years hast taken it into uncharted territory. Athletes are faster and more powerful than ever before. The speed of play has shifted to a new level.
Football is not what it used to be.
With 1.7 million points of impact data, no one can come close to the amount of insight we have gathered.
For the first time in history, Riddell's patented Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS™) records every frequency and severity of impacts to a player received during games and practices.
Once again, Riddell is the pioneer of innovating for the good of the player.
MOVING THE GAME OF FOOTBALL FORWARD
The Riddell 360 is the latest innovation in football helmet technology. By removing the traditionally placed screws from the forehead area, this revolutionary helmet design offers an unparalleled amount of face mask flexion, dispersing impact energies around the helmet instead of onto the player's head.