USA FOOTBALL’S PROTECTION TOUR ADVANCES PROPER TACKLING SKILLS, CONCUSSION EDUCATION AND EQUIPMENT FITTING

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald serves as national spokesman, assisting USA Football, Riddell and AIG deliver free, expert-driven health and safety education for youth football players, parents and coaches

Concussion education, proper tackling fundamentals and equipment fitting will be the focus of USA Football’s 2013 Protection Tour, a program that delivers expert-driven health and safety education to youth football players, parents and coaches nationwide.

Part of USA Football’s Heads Up FootballSM program, the second annual Protection Tour will conduct free, one-day events this summer in partnership with Riddell and AIG. Events, which will take place at NFL sites, provide instruction on Heads Up Football techniques that teach safer tackling mechanics designed to reduce helmet contact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols and proper helmet fitting.

USA Football’s Protection Tour events will be hosted by the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants throughout July and August.

Youth football players, parents and coaches can learn more about 2013 Protection Tour events, dates and times at http://usafootball.com/protection-tour.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD is the tour’s national spokesman. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection also was named to USA Football's All-Fundamentals Team in 2009.

“The fun, excitement and rewards I gained from playing youth football did so much for me, which is why I wanted to be involved with the Protection Tour,” Fitzgerald said. “USA Football places its highest priority on the health and safety of every youth player. I want parents and their kids to experience everything this great game has to offer and to enter this season better informed than ever to play better and safer.”

Riddell is USA Football’s official helmet and equipment partner, assisting the independent non-profit as it awards more than $1 million in equipment grants to youth and high school programs annually. AIG insurers provide participant accident insurance plans for youth leagues nationwide through USA Football. Through its aHead of the Game initiative (www.aig.com/aheadofthegame), which promotes player safety and concussion awareness education, AIG supports USA Football’s Heads Up Football program for a safer game.

“Our expertise in football headgear and protective equipment positions us well to deliver valuable information to youth football players, their parents and coaches about equipment care and fitting at the Protection Tour,” Riddell President DAN ARMENT said. “Participating in this annual event helps us teach each of these groups the important steps to ensuring proper fit, while helping them understand the role it plays in advancing player comfort and protection on the field.” 

2013 USA Football Protection Tour Schedule of Events:

DATE

CITY

LOCATION

HOST NFL TEAM

July 13

Santa Clara, Calif.

San Francisco 49ers Training Facility 

San Francisco 49ers

July 27

Arlington, Texas

Cowboys Stadium

Dallas Cowboys

July 27

Bourbonnais, Ill.

Olivet Nazarene University (training camp)*

Chicago Bears

Aug. 1

Chicago, Ill.

Soldier Field

Chicago Bears

Aug. 3

Minneapolis, Minn.

Mall of America Field at the Metrodome

Minnesota Vikings

Aug. 20

East Rutherford, N.J.

MetLife Stadium

New York Giants

*Heads Up Tackling and concussion education curriculum

2013 USA Football Protection Tour event components:

Heads Up TacklingSM. USA Football clinicians teach youth football players and coaches proper tackling fundamentals based on USA Football's Tackle Progression Model. 

Concussion recognition and response. Youth football parents receive an educational seminar on CDC-approved concussion recognition and response protocols. The seminar is sponsored by AIG and presented by a third-party medical expert.

Equipment fitting. Players, parents and coaches participate in an interactive session, led by a Riddell equipment fitting expert, in which they learn to properly fit an athlete’s helmet.

More than 2,700 youth football programs nationwide have adopted Heads Up Football into their programs this season. In addition to the NFL and NFL Foundation, organizations that support Heads Up Football include the NCAA, National Federation of State High School Associations, American Football Coaches Association and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. 

USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique was developed with contributions of USA Football’s Tackle Advisory Committee, which includes Northwestern head coach PAT FITZGERALD, UCLA head coach JIM MORA, former NFL running back MERRIL HOGE, Miami Christopher Columbus High School head coach CHRIS MERRITT and sports psychologist DR. DAVID YUKELSON.

About USA Football: USA Football leads the game’s development, inspires participation and ensures a better and safer experience for all youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NCAA’s Atlantic Athletic Conference. USA Football (www.usafootball.com), endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002, provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies.

About Riddell: Founded in 1929, Riddell is a premier designer and developer of protective sports equipment and a recognized leader in helmet technology and innovation. One of Easton-Bell Sports Inc.'s most well-known brands and the Official Helmet of the NFL®, Riddell is the leading manufacturer of football helmets, shoulder pads and reconditioning services (cleaning, repairing, repainting and recertifying existing equipment). For more information, visit riddell.com, like the Riddell Facebook page, or follow Riddell on Twitter @RiddellSports.

About AIG: American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions.  AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig |Twitter: @AIG_LatestNews | LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aig | aHead of the Game: www.aig.com/aheadofthegame

AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all jurisdictions, and coverage is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.

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