Press release

Riddell and Peyton Manning Unveil Football’s Team of the Future to Kick-Off Fifth-Annual Smarter Football Program

Sponsored by Businesswire

Riddell, the leader in football head protection and innovation, today
unveiled Peoria
High School as its Team of the Future
to celebrate the launch of the
2019 Smarter Football program. The Peoria High School Lions, known for
their progressive approach to football, became one of the first high
schools in the country completely outfitted with the latest in football
head protection and smart helmet technologies.

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Riddell and Peyton Manning unveil football's Team of the Future to kick-off fifth-annual Smarter Foo ...

Riddell and Peyton Manning unveil football’s Team of the Future to kick-off fifth-annual Smarter Football Program. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Riddell Team of the Future symbolizes a new era of smarter football
by combining state-of-the-art equipment with the Lions’ unique style of
play. The Lions go for it on fourth downs, always attempt two-point
conversions, and try onside kicks on every kickoff. The team is also
dedicated to preventing unnecessary player contact, limiting it in
practices throughout the season.

“Peoria High School is bringing the future of football to the field, and
that’s the kind of approach Riddell wants to support. We are honored to
equip such an exemplary program with advanced protective gear,” said
Riddell Brand Ambassador and Strategic Advisor Peyton Manning. “The
team’s commitment to player development on and off the field sets an
incredibly high standard for the football community.”

The Team of the Future initiative also marks the start of the 2019
Smarter Football program. Smarter Football is Riddell’s grassroots
movement that recognizes and rewards teams across the country for
implementing ‘smarter’ tactics on and off the field. Since its
inception, more than 3,600 football programs across North America, from
youth to semi-pro, have applied for a Smarter Football equipment grant.
Riddell and Peyton Manning will select 10 grant winners for 2019 with
Manning donating Riddell’s InSite
impact monitoring technology to all winning programs.

“We’re proud to see the football community continually rally around the
Smarter Football program and evolve what it means to teach a smarter
game to the next generation of players,” said Riddell President and CEO
Dan Arment. “We hope Peoria High School – Team of the Future inspires
more programs across the country to invest in a safer and smarter brand
of the sport.”

While Smarter Football can take shape in many ways, this year’s program
recognizes the Peoria Lions for their unconventional approach to the
game. The Lions visited Riddell’s headquarters earlier this year for a
behind-the-scenes tour led by Manning. During the visit, the team was
completely outfitted with Riddell’s latest helmet technologies,
including SpeedFlex
, SpeedFlex Diamond, Riddell
smart helmets as well as
shoulder pads featuring RipKord
technology. The team was also gifted new uniforms and provided upgraded
on-field practice equipment for the upcoming season.

At its core, Smarter Football reflects the collective football
community’s pledge to advance the sport. How that comes to life,
however, can look different for everyone involved. For parents and
administrators, that may mean more technologically advanced protective
equipment. For players, that may mean extra time committed to team
building and for coaches, that may mean implementing new training
techniques and smart helmet technology to fully benefit from teachable
moments happening on the field.

For Riddell, Smarter Football means demonstrating its head protection
leadership through innovation in helmet and protective equipment design
and development.

Most recently, Riddell teamed up with leading digital manufacturer Carbon
to bring customized, digital design innovation to head protection
through Riddell’s Diamond
, the first-ever 3D printed helmet liner.

Teams interested in applying for a grant can visit
The deadline for entries is July 8, 2019 and recipients will be
announced this season. Anyone in the football community is invited to
join the movement by following @RiddellSports
on social media and sharing their own examples of #SmarterFootball in

About Riddell

Riddell is a premier designer and developer of football helmets,
protective sports equipment, head impact monitoring technologies,
apparel and related accessories. A recognized leader in helmet
technology and innovation, Riddell is the leading manufacturer of
football helmets and shoulder pads, and a top provider of reconditioning
services (cleaning, repairing, repainting and recertifying existing
equipment). For more information, visit our website at,
like the Riddell Facebook page, or follow Riddell on Instagram and
Twitter @RiddellSports.