Nike is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel, and supplies some of the best football apparel and cleats. The company was originally founded as Blue Ribbon Sports, but formally changed its name to Nike, Inc. in 1971. Nike's logo features a curved check design known as the "swoosh" which has become recognizable across the World. The company is based in Beavertown, Oregon and has many retail and manufacturing stores in many countries. Nike for american football equipment specializes in apparel and cleats. The company gained great traction within the football industry when they reached a deal with the National Football League (NFL). Since 2012, Nike has had the rights to NFL apparel meaning that every NFL jersey features the highly coveted Nike swoosh. Nike not only dominates the professional league of football, but at the collegiate level as well. Nike currently sponsors many of the top college football programs in the United States including:
Under Armour like Nike is another major athletic apparel company, which also manufactures football cleats. The company was founded in 1996 when former University of Maryland football team player, Kevin Plank wanted an athletic shirt that would absorb sweat. Today the brand is still headquartered Batlimore, Maryland, but has many additional offices in other countries as well. Under Armour sells many different football pieces of apparel including undershirts, long sleeves, and compression shorts all featuring the sweat absorbing material. Under Armour is also a major sponsor of collegiate football by sponsoring teams such as the Auburn Tigers, Boston College Eagles, Maryland Terrapins, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Current pro athletes who wear Under Armour include:
Riddell Sports Group is leading manufacturing in football helmets, football pads, helmet reconditioning, and football related equipment. The company was founded in 1927 by John T. Riddell who was the coach of a high school football team. The company had two major innovations during its early years, the first was removable spikes for cleats and the second was plastic shell helmet which was invented in 1939. The company is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois and sells equipment worldwide. Riddell is currently an authorized helmet supplier of the NFL and also supports youth leagues such as USA Football and Pop Warner as well. Peyton Manning was famous for wearing a Riddell helmet during his career.
Adidas as a company is the second largest sportswear manufacturing behind Nike in the World, and the most popular in Europe. The company was founded in 1949 by German Adi Dassler. The Adidas logo features a three strip design that was created in 1949, and was the company unveiled its soccer cleats. Today the company creates american football apparel and cleats. Adidas sponsors many collegiate football programs, most notably the University of Miami Hurricanes, UCLA Bruins, Louisiville Cardinals, and the Arizona State Sun Devils. Many current NFL players are also sponsored by the brand such as:
Schutt like Riddell is another brand specializing in football helmets and pads. The company was founded in 1918 by Bill Schutt with his featured product of the basketball net. In 1935 the brand was the first to mass produce football facemasks and because of this in 1962, the NFL made face masks mandatory for players to wear. Many NFL players still use Shutt helmets and shoulder pads in the NFL.
Xenith is one of the newer brands on this list, founded in 2006 by Vin Ferrara (former Havarard University Quarterback). After suffering numerous head injuries during his playing days, Ferrara believed there had to be a better helmet. After three years of development and research Xenith launched their first helmet in 2009. The company is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and now production includes shoulder plates, back plates, rib protectors, and visors. It hopes to grow in popularity as the awareness for head injuries increases. Currently Xenith has partnerships with NFL running backs Frank Gore (Buffalo Bills) and Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns) who both wear the Xenith helmets.
Cutters Gloves are the best company at producing athletic gloves (baseball & football) by featuring their "C tack grip technology". The company was founded in 1997 by Jeff Beraznik who was unsatisfied with current football gloves on the market. He combined elements of industrial gloves with current models and led to a higher performance model of gloves. The gloves are designed to withstand all types of weather and are even machine washable. Julian Edelman is one the brand's biggest partners in the NFL wearing Cutter's gloves every single game. Former star NFL wide receiver Andre Johnson has also spoken highly of the brand.
Wilson Sporting Goods company focuses on the production of sporting goods equipment. Wilson makes footballs and even used to provide uniforms for some NFL teams. It was originally founded as a meat packing company, but in 1915 former president Thomas E. Wilson began to also produce sporting equipment such as baseball shoes and tennis rackets. However it was not until 1931 that the company was formally changed to Wilson Sporting Goods. The company gained major attention within the industry in 1941, when the NFL made Wilson the official ball of the league. The NFL has continued the tradition of Wilson balls still to this day, the brand has a well established culture and reputation.
Douglas Sports is another popular brand for football equipment such as shoulder pads, back plates, rib cage protectors, other football equipment, and accessories. The company was founded in 1967 and initially manufactured industrial fabrics, but by the end of the 1970s the company had started a wide range of sporting goods equipment. The brand specializes in shoulder pads and makes different ones for different positions such as quarterbacks, wide receivers, and defensive backs. Six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady has been wearing the same Douglas pair of shoulder pads since his playing days at Michigan, and refuses to take the field with anything else.
Battle Sports is the newest company on this list founded in 2009, and specializes in football equipment. Battle Sports Has gained a lot of popularity in recent years with their new mouthguard style and high quality backplates. The company also produces athletic towels, chinstraps, and skull caps for football players. Many current NFL and NCAA players have been using their equipment recently, and have started a trend into youth sports as well. In the 2019 season, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf made his league debut wearing a mouthguard designed by Battle Sports to look like a pacifier. Battle Sports is known for its iconic mouthguards which each feature a unique design and colors. The company also recently reached a partnership agreement with Growth of Game by becoming the official camp sponsor.