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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

EvoShield Partners With Perfect Game

Jim Ecker        
EvoShield and Perfect Game USA, two innovative companies that have enjoyed tremendous success in their respective fields, will be joining forces at two major baseball tournaments in Arizona this fall.
The companies are proud to announce that the 2010 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships will be held Sept. 24-27 at the Goodyear andPeoria Sports Complexes in Arizona. The Upperclass National Championship will be for 2011 high school graduates and younger, while the Underclass National Championship will be for 2012 graduates and younger. The tournaments will run simultaneously.
EvoShield is a young company that specializes in performance protective gear for athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, NHL and NCAA baseball, softball, football and lacrosse. The company, located in Athens, Ga., launched in 2007 and has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country, with sales increasing by 300 percent each of the past three years.
EvoShield began an association with Perfect Game in 2009, and now the companies are taking their relationship to a new level. EvoShield will be creating an "interactive experience” for athletes at the tournaments in Arizona, where players will be able to touch, feel and see why elite athletes now take the field wearing EvoShield.
“We are honored and excited to join forces with such a great organization as Perfect Game,” said Justin Niefer, the director of Pro and College Sales for EvoShield. “Both companies target elite baseball players and I believe this strategic alliance will bring tremendous value and offer a unique experience to all of the teams competing in this event." 
EvoShield specializes in protective products for the elbow, ribs, chest, back, wrists, hands, thighs, ankles and shins. The products are light-weight and thin, yet offer maximum protection that custom molds to fit the exact contours of an athlete’s body. Athletes don’t feel like they’re wearing anything at all, yet feel invincible.
Perfect Game USA is delighted to be partners with EvoShield.
“We have never asked for a title sponsor for anyPerfect Game events, but EvoShield came to us with a great idea,” said Perfect Game president Jerry Ford. “There’s no question that EvoShield produces the highest-quality products and is of great interest to those who play at the highest levels.
“More than anything,” said Ford, “we only work with people and companies that we respect and trust. These events in Arizona are a perfect venue to have Perfect Game and EvoShield working together to help provide talented young players with a great experience.”
Niefer, 28, played baseball at the University of Georgia and helped form the company. EvoShield began in 2005 and had two years of testing before introducing its first elbow and leg guards in 2007, working with a chemist, cardiologist and athletes to design comfortable sports equipment. One of the first breakthroughs came whenManny Ramirez, then with theBoston Red Sox, began using an EvoShield elbow guard to protect his body.
Ramirez was wearing the EvoShield product when he was hit in the elbow with a 93 mph fastball during a ballgame. The video shows Ramirez trotting to first base, laughing and pointing to the elbow guard to let everyone know he was all right, and why.
“That was kind of our launching pad,” said Niefer, who designed that elbow guard for Ramirez. "We realized we had something revolutionary when professional athletes began demanding our products."
Niefer has tried to give Ramirez new elbow guards since then, but Ramirez (now with the Dodgers) is perfectly happy with the original pad and continues to use it.
Niefer said EvoShield does not pay pro athletes to promote their products, but added they're proud to protect 28 major league teams that include players as Evan Longoria, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Buster Posey,Andrew McCutchen, Gordon Beckham, Martin Prado and three recent Rookies of the Year.
EvoShield had a one-week trial run at aPerfect Game event in Marietta, Ga., last year to demonstrate its products and was delighted with the results. “Sales at the event were phenomenal,” said Niefer. “We were surprised how many of these young guys knew about EvoShield."
Niefer said EvoShield is looking to promote its products more heavily in the western part of the country, which was a catalyst for the company working with Perfect Game to help sponsor the National Championships in Arizona this September.
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