As the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 spread across America — and the rest of the world — during the earliest wave of the pandemic in the first half of 2020, suppliers to the football and school sports markets stepped up to make a difference.
Each company chose to help fight the coronavirus for their own reasons, but added together, some great people from some outstanding companies decided to make their actions count in our combined fight against this deadly virus.
We reached out via email to all of our partners at AFCA Magazine and AFCA Insider to ask if they wanted to share any of their own activities regarding the fight against coronavirus. Below is a list of companies that altered their manufacturing processes, donated money, started producing face masks and gowns, gave away their services, and so much more, all in the name of unity. While this list is certainly by no means complete, it serves as a testament to the character of the people who help make our game possible.
Editor’s Note: If you have a story about how a supplier to the school sports and football markets has helped in the fight against COVID-19, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep this article updated with the latest information.
The Athletic Edge — Workers from all areas of The Athletic Edge’s manufacturing plant united to sew face masks to donate to those in need within their community. As of May 12, employees delivered 1,200 hand-sewn cloth face masks to their local health care facility, Prairie Lakes Healthcare System. The Athletic Edge is in the process of creating and donating another 500+ masks to local nursing homes and other facilities to help protect frontline workers.
EFX Sports — Sports nutrition company EFX Sports saw a major need in the marketplace due to consumer injustices caused by price gouging, and altered its manufacturing processes to begin producing hand sanitizer at enormously reduced costs. On top of that, the company also gave away 2 pound bags of protein powder for only the cost of shipping.
Gamebreaker — Softshell headgear maker Gamebreaker joined forces with Wooter Apparel to form CovCare, a company that specializes in supplying small to large quantities of face masks at enormous discounts. For every 10 face masks sold, CovCare donated one disposable 3-ply face mask to a hospital in need with the goal to give away more than 1 million face masks.
Game Plan — Game Plan made available a series of eLearning course at no cost to non-customers with course concentration on subjects including mental health, life skills and personal development, nutrition and lifestyle management and life-stage transitions. More than 5,000 courses have been taken.
Get It Right — Get It Right is participating in officiating training webinars at no cost to officials so they can get the reps they need to provide officiating services when the season begins.
Gilman Gear — Gilman Gear repurposed a factory to make isolation gowns, isolation hoods, reusable isolation gowns, surgical gowns, bouffant scrub caps, hair net caps and hospital face masks to fight coronavirus. Gilman also expanded its workforce in that factory to meet demand. The factory was running six days a week/10 hours a day.
Jostens — Using facilities designed to produce high school and college graduation gowns, letter jackets and other apparel, custom championship ring maker Jostens is manufacturing non-surgical cloth face masks and Level 1 disposable isolation gowns. This is not the first time Jostens has leveraged its people and expertise to assist in times of civic need. For example, during World War II Jostens contributed to the war effort by adapting its jewelry plant and equipment to manufacture precision parts and other materials.
Morgan Stanley — Morgan Stanley provided $25 million in grants to support ongoing relief efforts to the global COVID-19 crisis. Grants support organizations that fight hunger, control disease and care for the sick. They also provide financial support for those most vulnerable. Morgan Stanley is also matching employee contributions — dollar for dollar up to $5,000 per employee — for designated feeding programs.
Porta Phone — Sideline communication system manufacturer Porta Phone donated a specialized communications system to surgeons in New York City performing emergency tracheotomies on patients with coronavirus. Emergency intensive care units (ICU) are extremely loud, with high-powered ventilation and specialty personal protective systems making communication unusually difficult even across the operating table. The lightweight headsets normally used by football referees allowed surgeons to communicate and successfully perform emergency medical procedures.
Reveal Suits — Custom apparel manufacturer Reveal Suits partnered with its manufacturers in China to produce masks and personal protective equipment, helping anyone from small families to dental clinics, nursing homes and other businesses across the U.S. and internationally.
Ripon Athletic — Athletic apparel and uniform manufacturer Ripon Athletic modified its production capabilities to produce much-needed Personal Protective Equipment — including gowns and masks – for use at the state, local and national levels. The company brought back about one-third of its workforce to make the gowns and masks, producing about 150 gowns and 1,000-1,500 masks per day.
Rogers Athletic — Strength and football equipment manufacturer Rogers Athletic has engaged with a leading medical technology company to supply components to produce a bed to support the COVID-19 fight. The bed is a patient platform developed to serve those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
Rogue Fitness — Strength and conditioning manufacturer Rogue Fitness has gone to incredible lengths to help its employees, its community and the wider world during the coronavirus. Beginning in early March, Rogue instituted the following items: provided paid emergency leave for employees, purchased 500 meals daily for 14 days from local restaurants struggling due to shutdown, offered shift work for displaced/furloughed community members, provided multiple rounds of employee economic stimulus, designed and produced personal protective equipment (masks and face shields) for the fight against COVID-19, and a whole lot more. Visit roguefitness.com/covid-19 to see more.
ROUTE — Software manufacturer ROUTE is providing free subscriptions to its ROUTE platform for all 2020 athletes to help athletes, parents and coaches navigate the recruiting process remotely.
Royal Basket Trucks — Material handling manufacturer Royal Basket Trucks provided elastic to a neighboring business to produce much-needed personal protective equipment, including plastic face shields. Royal Basket Trucks also modified its platform to produce cotton face masks, making more than 1,000 masks per day, with the potential for making protective gowns a possibility.
Sorinex — Strength equipment manufacturer Sorinex produced the Off-Grid Rack, a solution to help people train at home during quarantine. The company hired local restaurant employees who were laid off and used the help of other local manufacturers to generate local business. Sorinex donated the profits from the Off-Grid Rack to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy on behalf of the Coaches vs. COVID-19 Fund. In late April, Sorinex donated $98,013.16 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
Spacesaver — High-density storage manufacturer Spacesaver created an informational packet to help businesses and other organizations plan for storing equipment and other items during an emergency, with an emphasis on making room for the unexpected, killing microbes within storage systems and getting it all done quickly and easily so they aren’t sidelined by the next disaster.
Victory Game Clocks — Victory game clocks ran an ad in its local newspaper asking for volunteers to help make washable/reusable face masks for its small local hospital, doctors, nurses, emergency response teams, volunteer fire departments, nursing homes, retirement homes, rehab facilities, food distribution teams from our local churches and others. On top of receiving numerous large and small monetary donations from local citizens to make this happen, Victory Game Clocks is currently producing hundreds of masks for these local organizations, mixing hand sanitizer and distributing these materials to those in need to help fight coronavirus.
VKTRY Insoles — Footwear and arch support manufacturer VKTRY Insoles gave away 500 pairs of VKTRY Insoles to healthcare providers.
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This article was written by Paul Markgraff, managing editor of AFCA Magazine. If you have a story about how a supplier to the school sports and football markets has helped in the fight against COVID-19, please send it to email@example.com.