Brett Favre took his last snap as an NFL quarterback on an icy December day in Minnesota in 2010. Chicago Bears, Corey Wootton, muscled his way through the Vikings line and drove Favre’s head into the artificial turf surface. The next 15 seconds Favre lay motionless on the turf before regaining consciousness and moving his arms up to raise his body off the field. Fast forward seven years later Favre is introduced to Dan Sawyer, a man whose company started to move the entire industry into the next generation of safer sports surfaces years before Favre retired.
“It has been a slow journey in trying to get industry-wide adoption of shock pads for artificial turf fields,” said Sawyer, CEO of leading artificial turf shock pad manufacturer Brock USA. “Our background is in the medical industries, and in 2002 we began to apply our research and science to improving the sports surface. We were really 10 years ahead of the market, and only recently has the industry gotten behind the idea that the playing surface is a piece of equipment that needs to be as safe as possible for athletes. Now that it has, I’m glad to have a product that has already been proven and installed from the NFL to parks and high school fields.”
According to a study done for the Concussion Foundation Legacy, one-in-five concussions occur from the head hitting the playing surface. That number was even higher in a recent study done for the NFL Players Association which found the playing surface was the primary cause in 24 percent of all concussions. When these statistics and the exhaustive research from Brock were presented to Favre, he “was ready to get this message out there.”
“These guys at Brock have done their homework. They’ve been the ones working hard to make sports safer and the proof is in the statistics and the science,” said Favre. “Having my last play be one where I was knocked out after hitting turf, I could get behind everything they were saying. I’m invested 100% in their message. We need to make football safer for our kids and everyone playing sports.”
Favre and Sawyer have discussed an ongoing partnership to get the information to the general public that a safer field exists and has been in use for over a decade. Brock’s polypropylene shock pad technology has been proven to enhance performance in all current testing metrics for field safety.
“It was surreal to be talking with a legendary NFL player like Brett and have him fully vested in the message that has been at the core of why we do what we do,” said Sawyer. “Our money is wrapped up in education, research, and development to engineer the absolute best shock pads to protect athletes. Having Brett publicly support and promote our message of hope and innovation in sports is something I never imagined possible.”