One of the most interesting developments in baseball gear and equipment over the past few years since our playing careers ended has been the rise of EvoShield onto the scene. While we were finishing up our college careers, most recently of us in 2010, us or no one we played with used any EvoShield products or were even aware of them. A little over a year later however, many of the players we were coaching began to show up with them, and by the summer travel ball circuit, it seemed that every at the tournaments were sporting some sort of EvoShield product. Now they have become an exclusive provider of baseball gear for many big name college programs and even the MLB, so we wanted to take a little deeper look at why.
Before 2007, when you thought of protective gear for baseball, it would most likely include bulky arm pads and grated leg guards, which for players were products that were often heavy and very uncomfortable to play with. Imagine Barry Bond’s infamous elbow guard that took up almost half of his arm. In 2005 EvoShield was founded under the name All Sports Armor by three former University of Georgia athletes Stan Kanavage (Football), Justin Niefer (Baseball) and Stan Payne (Baseball) and after two years of extensive design and testing, their first product was released to the public in 2007.
EvoShield products are much different from its competitors due to its unique technology- the porous material begins soft and flexible but hardens once it hits air, allowing it to mold to the athlete’s body in a true ‘one size fits all’ fashion. The technology behind this product shows that it disperses the force from impact better than hard plastic and foam which are used in most sports protection products.
Going along with a great product the company has had awesome marketing campaigns, highlighted by their ability to effectively use social media to their advantage. Throughout Twitter they have attracted players from all over into talking about the use of their products through the hashtag ‘#evoswag’, developing a comradery with people who use their products. If you attempt to order one of their corresponding ‘Swag’ tshirts from their website you will find that they are on back order- demonstrating the popularity of the campaign.
Today players want something that is light weight and stylish, and Evoshield has been able to accomplish that, but at the same time it has also made a product that successfully protects the players from injury, which is the most important part. It is not just young players recognizing their products though- Troy Tulowitzki and Gordon Beckham are endorsers of the product, and when Josh Hamilton hurt his ribs he turned to their rib guard to protect them. When you talk to people who use the product, they say you don’t even notice you are wearing it, which allows the athlete to focus on the task at hand and not worry about becoming injured or an injury they already have.
EvoShield has now partnered with MLB and is a part of their ‘Authentic Collection’. They have also began to supply protective gear for other sports such as football, softball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and even hunting. This market is ever evolving and with the continued growth of technology you will see new advances in the sports protection market. As it stands right now EvoShield is beginning to distinguish itself as the top brand in this market.