J.C. Wingo, Shoulder Pad Pioneer, Moves into New Role at Schutt Sports

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Named the company's first Executive Director of Football Development

We're at a very important stage in the continuing development of Schutt Sports

Having already named two veterans of adidas North America to its management lineup, Schutt Sports has added yet another stalwart of the sporting goods industry. J.C. Wingo has been named the company's first Executive Director of Football Development, a role he assumes after serving five months as an advisor to the company.

Wingo's name is synonymous with "shoulder pads" in the football industry: he developed the air-impact system for shoulder pads nearly 20 years ago. That technology led his company, Power Athletic Equipment, to develop the Power Pads -- a line of shoulder pads that are still worn by 80% of the players in the NFL®.

"The fact that the Power Pads are still a dominant player within football is a testament to what we were able to accomplish 20 years ago," says Wingo. "But, as with all things, its time has come. It's time to make way for something better. Schutt Sports is already the world's #1 maker of football helmets and faceguards and we'll soon say that about shoulder pads, as well."

To that end, Wingo and Schutt Sports have unleashed the latest technologically advanced line of shoulder pads -- the AiR Flex™. Designed by Wingo and utilizing patented Brock Beaded technology along with the game's first "no-epaulet" design, the AiR Flex™ have become an instant contender to unseat the reigning brand name shoulder pads.

"I developed the AiR Flex™ shoulder pads for Schutt Sports with the hope of re-creating what we did in 1988," says Wingo. "The AiR Flex™ shoulder pads are, without a doubt, the best pads I've ever designed. They're lighter, more breathable, more impact absorbent and bring things to the field never seen before. A number of NFL® teams have already started using them, as well as some major collegiate programs."

One of Wingo's primary responsibilities in his new role will be to leverage both his own brand equity, as well as the company's brand name, to get more schools, teams and organizations on the Schutt bandwagon. Wingo is the company's first Executive Director of Football Development -- a title and role that goes well beyond shoulder pads. The company sees much potential for growth in their football division, despite its dominant position in helmets and faceguards.

"We're at a very important stage in the continuing development of Schutt Sports," says Kip Meyer, the former adidas veteran recently named Vice President/General Manager. "Our new football helmets featuring TPU Cushioning and SKYDEX2 are doing better than we could have ever dreamed. Along with the AiR Flex™ shoulder pads, our football product line is going to need experienced leadership over the next 12-18 months. We also need someone who has the ability to grow and extend existing product lines while also developing new ones. J.C. is the perfect guy to do that for us."

Wingo's past focus on technology is the ideal fit for Schutt, which has always focused on building the latest technology into its own products. For the last 12 years, Wingo has led the Wingo Sports Group and Wingo Sports Labs, both of which focused on bringing state-of-the-art ideas and materials to the football field.

"There are so many great ideas out there," says Wingo. "And not all of them are in the sporting goods field. Just like Schutt did with the original SKYDEX material, we want to focus on the best ideas -- no matter where they come from. We'll figure out how to make them work."

Wingo is the third sporting goods industry heavyweight to join Schutt Sports in the last six months. The company continues to invest in its leadership team, bringing in veteran talent that have the drive and skill to take the company to unprecedented heights.

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Glenn Beckmann
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