Sports Business Journal
March 27, 2023
Virginia Tech has special ordered 110 SAFR ProTech football helmet covers for the 2023 season after tests last December showed the product decreased the risk of concussion by up to 77 percent.
The SAFR ProTech helmet cover — consisting of polyurethane foam intended to “absorb and dissipate the energy caused by hits” — is designed to attach to the majority of football helmets such as the latest iterations from Riddell and Schutt. In theory, SAFR claims it serves as an “airbag” for the player because it delays the timing of an impact. SAFR’s claims were validated in December by the well-respected Virginia Tech Helmet Lab. After installing the covers on 5-Star helmets, Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab ran over 320 impact tests during 72 hours of research, coming up with the 77% reduction number.
After observing the results, Dr. Stefan Duma — who leads the helmet star rating system and specializes in biomechanics and head trauma research — reached out to Virginia Tech’s Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Mike Goforth. After discussing the upsides of the ProTech cover, Goforth, head coach Brent Pry and head athletic trainer Brett Griesemer ordered the 110 total covers for the upcoming season. The incoming covers will contain Virginia Tech’s color and logo and are customizable for any school.