Chicago Bears to be First NFL Team to Adopt New Riddell® RipKord™ Shoulder Pad Technology

Riddell and Bears Continue Leadership in Player Protection

CHICAGO – August 1, 2011 – Riddell and the Chicago Bears today announced that the Bears will be the first organization in the National Football League (NFL®) to offer its players Riddell’s new RipKord shoulder pad technology as part of the Bears’ standard equipment package during the 2011 season.
Riddell’s RipKord™ Shoulder Pad, introduced in June, 2011 at the National Athletic Trainer’s Association’s (NATA) 62nd Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposia, is an emergency management technology that is incorporated into the Riddell CPX (Custom Power Extreme) shoulder pads. The new shoulder pad removal system provides more efficient and immediate access to an athlete’s chest and airway in the event of a suspected head, spine or chest injury. The RipKord Shoulder Pad allows athletic trainers and medical professionals to treat severe injuries during the crucial window of time.
“The removal of the shoulder pads and helmet continues to be a critical aspect of treating severe head, neck and chest injuries,” said Tim Bream, Head Athletic Trainer for the Chicago Bears. “Riddell’s RipKord Shoulder pads will not only serve our players better, but also are a key development which will be used by youth athletes across the country giving medical personnel the ability for improved care.”
RipKord was invented by Mike Kordecki, a Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer who worked Chicago Bears training camps in the 1980s and 90s, after seeing that it took six to 10 individuals to lift a player off a spinal board before they could remove equipment for treatment or evaluation procedures. The removal of shoulder pads with RipKord can now be accomplished by two trained professionals without removing the player from a spinal board. By pulling a single cord, shoulder pads outfitted with RipKord can be quickly and easily removed by two trained professionals without elevating a player.

“Riddell has a history of maintaining the highest levels of protection in its football equipment,” said Dan Arment, President of Riddell Sports. “We were thrilled with the Bears interest in this new technology from its earliest stages through refinement and development of the product. The Bears are leading by example and our goal is that other NFL teams will follow suit.”
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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).

Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. is a leading designer, developer and marketer of branded sports equipment, protective products and related accessories. The company markets and licenses products under such well-known brands as Easton, Bell, Giro, Riddell, and Blackburn. Easton-Bell Sports’ products incorporate leading technology and designs and are used by professional athletes and enthusiasts alike. Headquartered in Van Nuys, Calif., the company has 30 facilities worldwide.

One of the founding franchises of the National Football League, the Chicago Bears were originally established in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys by legendary player, coach and owner, George Halas. The team moved to Chicago in 1921 and has gone on to win the most games in league history along with nine championships. The Bears 27 Hall of Famers is the most of any team in the NFL. In the community, the Bears strive to be leaders throughout Chicago and its suburbs by supporting initiatives focused on Education, Health and Fitness, Youth Football, and Volunteerism and Civic Involvement.

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Christie Burgner Shein
(312) 861-5237

Scott Hagel
Sr. Dir. Corporate Communications
Chicago Bears
(847) 739-5220

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