SBD/October 28, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rawlings Seeks Growth In Football Equipment, Will Debut New Campaign With Patrick Willis

Willis will be featured in brief Rawlings spots intended for social media sharing
Rawlings “isn’t letting up in its quest to take market share from competing football helmet manufacturers,” as the company has been “in a full-out sprint, introducing eight helmet models in just three years,” according to Lisa Brown of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Rawlings officials said that they expect the Tachyon helmet to help the company grow beyond the 9% market share it has amassed since '10, "after a 20-year absence from [the] football helmet category.” The number of NFLers who wear Rawlings’ helmets “has grown from a handful a couple years ago to more than 170 today.” However, the two largest football helmet makers, Riddell and Schutt Sports -- each with “market share exceeding 40 percent -- also have a robust new product pipeline.” Rawlings, in addition to helmets, is “adding to its protective gear with new football pants that have the pads built into the fabric.” Rawlings is “betting that its full line of products, from helmets to padded shorts, will help differentiate it from other sports apparel companies.” Rawlings Senior Dir of Brand Marketing Kurt Hunzeker said, “We’re the only group with a complete football solution, and you can get all the products you need. Nobody else does it.” At the beginning of '14, Rawlings plans to “consolidate multiple websites it operates for different sports all into a single site, Rawlings.com.” The company also is “making changes to its football marketing beginning this fall, and putting a heavier emphasis on social media.” Rawlings next month will “debut a series of short videos" starring 49ers LB Patrick Willis, which will span 7-10 seconds in order to “be easily shared on social media sites” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/27).
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