The company was established in 1918 as a basketball hoop and dry line developer, It created the first football faceguard in 1935. In 2008, competitor Riddell sued Schutt for infringing on three patents. The three products identified were branded by Schutt under the names "DNA", "ION", and "AIR XP". Two years later, the company sued Riddell, also for patent-infringement. However, Schutt ended up losing in the lawsuit, forcing them to file bankruptcy. Despite this, football helmets and facemask sales in 2011 increased by 15%. After the bankruptcy, Platinum Equity acquired the assets of the company.
Schutt has been active in developing equipment to prevent concussions in American football, including creating a device in 2008 for Arena Football League players called the "Shockometer". The device is shaped like a triangle, with an adhesive on one side, that sticks to the helmet. When a player is hit by a g-force of more than 100 g, a light in a capsule on the device will flash red. However, fan activity could potentially affect the device. In 2012, the company developed a helmet line called "Vengeance", which the company stated will give players "the opportunity to face their foes head-on." Critics and doctors questioned the model's marketing, saying that the statement, as well as the name, can give the wrong message. However, Schutt CEO Robert Erb stated that the name stems from the competition between Schutt and Riddell, and that the name will not appear on the helmet.
Keep your head up. Do not butt, ram, spear or strike an opponent with any part of the helmet or faceguard. This is a violation of football rules and may cause you to suffer severe brain or neck injury, including paralysis or death and possible injury to your opponent. Contact in football may result in Concussion/Brain Injury which no helmet can prevent. Symptoms include loss of consciousness or memory, dizziness, headache, nausea or confusion. If you have symptoms, immediately stop and report them to your coach, trainer and parents. Do not return to a game or contact until all symptoms are gone and you receive medical clearance. Ignoring this warning may lead to another and more serious or fatal brain injury.
NO HELMET SYSTEM CAN PROTECT YOU FROM SERIOUS BRAIN AND/OR NECK INJURIES INCLUDING PARALYSIS OR DEATH. TO AVOID THESE RISKS, DO NOT ENGAGE IN THE SPORT OF FOOTBALL.— Warning label on the back of Schutt-developed football helmets
The company's basketball equipment has been used by various athletic associations; the company's rims are the official rims of the SEC men's and women's basketball tournaments. The company is the sponsor of the Illinois High School Association Schutt Sports Slam Dunk Spectacular dunk contest. The Philadelphia 76ers frequently use Schutt's equipment during their summer camps, and is the preferred equipment of the Missouri Valley Conference. The company also develops equipment for the United States men's national softball team/women's softball teams, and developed the Aqua Tech helmet in 2012 for the women's team.
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