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Fastest-Growing Companies | Pacific Coast Business Times September 20-26, 2019
GAMEBREAKER PUTS CONTACT SPORTS INTO A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME WITH ITS REVOLUTIONARY HEADGEAR
By Chris Officer
Staff Writer, Pacific Coast Business Times
A budding Westlake Village company is attempting to tackle a huge problem one of America’s most popular sports face, head injuries. And an East Coast university that is an authority on the subject says GameBreaker is a game-changer in softshell headgear.
Over the past decade, science has shown repetitive hits to the head can lead to brain injuries that have long-term effects, and athletes both amateur and professional are some of the most susceptible.
“Anytime you’re in a sport where two different teams are chasing around a ball, you’re going to have collisions.“
VP of Business Development, GameBreaker
But before concussions became a popular talking point in amateur and professional athletics, company founder and CEO Mike Juels developed a patent for his softshell headgear back in 2001, eventually launching GameBreaker in 2011. But Juels may have been too ahead of his time. The company’s vice president of operations Kyle Eversgerd explained,
investors in his new technology weren’t exactly lining up at the door. However that soon changed.
“He would go to big helmet companies and quite frankly got laughed out of the room,” Eversgerd said. “Now they are crawling back.”
Eversgerd said GameBreaker sets itself apart from the competition with its D30 technology, a lightweight material that provides maximum impact protection.
“It really is a unique dynamic – soft, flexible material,” Eversgerd said. “We use D30 technology inside all our headgear.”
Recently, GameBreaker received a five-star rating from Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, a group of researchers who have been providing unbiased helmet ratings that allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing helmets.
Another element Eversgerd said that makes GameBreaker headgear unique is its look and team sales approach.
“We spent years making it cosmetically and esthetically pleasing. Safety and looking good didn’t always match. Gives up to 10 different colors and two custom logo locations, Eversgerd said. “We’re a unique product. We have flag football leagues calling us every day. I hate to say it, but injuries make people pick up the phone.”
GameBreaker headgear is made for a wide range of sports, including soccer, volleyball, wrestling and lacrosse, but Eversgerd said a majority of its business comes from flag football and seven-on-seven football. Eversgerd said the company hopes to see another spike in revenue, after releasing its newest headgear, Gamebreaker Aura, a soccer headband that provides 60 percent protection coverage, given a five-star rating by Virginia Tech and is considered the No. 1 soccer protective headband in the world.
GameBreaker’s headgear range in price and protection, from $60 to more than $90, depending on the coverage. It employs about 25 to 30 people, and has sales team across the U.S. Many of its employees are former professional athletes, including NFL wide receiver and former Super Bowl champion Golden Tate, who currently plays for the New York Giants and is a principal with the company.
“Anytime you’re in a sport, where two different teams are chasing around a ball, you’re going to have collisions,” Eversgerd said. “A couple of guys on our staff, their careers ended with a head injury. “We all have a passion for sports, and we hate seeing head injuries putting a damper on it.”
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