Russell Athletic Changes the Game with New, State-Of-The-Art Shoulder Pad System

Russell Athletic Changes the Game with New, State-Of-The-Art Shoulder Pad System

"CarbonTek with OS Technology" Features Superior Protection with Revolutionary Design & Fit

Bowling Green, Ky. (June 3, 2014) - Russell Brands, LLC today introduced "CarbonTek with OS Technology™" (patent pending), the first ever Russell Athletic® football shoulder pad system. The CarbonTek shoulder pad system, which demonstrated a significant reduction in transmitted force in comparative testing with competitive products, will provide football players with the latest evolution in protective gear. The new shoulder pad system has been tested on-field by elite athletes and undergone scientific and field evaluations by leading experts to demonstrate superior impact management, fit and performance.

The CarbonTek with OS Technology shoulder pad system was imagined, designed and engineered by Russell Athletic in conjunction with some of the best minds in protection technology, including collegiate and professional football equipment managers and training staffs as well as aerospace and automotive engineers – experts in designing strong, yet lightweight materials built to manage the effects of high speed impacts. The CarbonTek with OS Technology combines those materials with Russell Athletic's knowledge of athletic performance management products to create a dynamic new shoulder pad system that represents the latest in groundbreaking innovation from Russell Athletic.

"Russell Athletic has a long tradition of manufacturing sporting goods that push the category forward, and we are very excited about the CarbonTek shoulder pad system," said Robby Davis, Russell Athletic Sr. Vice President General Manager. "This is an important category for us and our industry. We believe there has been a particular void in innovation in the shoulder pad space. That's where CarbonTek comes in—we can utilize Russell Athletic's roots in football and dedication to quality and innovation to create what we believe is a product with superior impact management, a lower profile and a better fit for players."

At the core of the CarbonTek with OS Technology shoulder pad system are two revolutionary materials combining for a unique protective advantage: an automotive grade foam vest and a 100% carbon fiber exoskeleton. This unique design combines to offer the athlete the following product attributes:

OS Technology Compression Vest

  • Fabric and design hold padding close to the body for maximum protection
  • X-ray images are visible while wearing the padding system
  • Can be used without exoskeleton for non-contact days
  • Odor management technology
  • Machine Washable

Carbon Fiber Exoskeleton

  • 100% Aerospace grade carbon fiber resulting in 10% reduction in weight vs. competitors
  • Better impact management than traditional plastic
  • Exoskeleton molded to fit an athlete's body
  • Military-grade buckle system for secure fit that reduces bulk

Russell Athletic enlisted the help of industry experts to test the CarbonTek with OS Technology including sports equipment specialists and elite football players. Sports equipment scientist, Dr. Richard Brandt, conducted a series of laboratory tests on impact forces and energy dispersion and in the process developed a new, innovative shoulder pad study (patent pending).

"We subjected the CarbonTek shoulder pad and the best alternative pads to controlled rigorous impact tests in order to determine which pad was most effective in reducing the large impact forces experienced by football players," Dr. Brandt, founder of Sports Science Inc. said. "To simulate the collisions experienced by these players, we impacted a pad-protected human torso model, appropriately modified and instrumented, with solid loads chosen to reproduce the large forces encountered in player collisions. In these tests, CarbonTek outperformed the other shoulder pads tested in all assessed aspects of impact dispersion, with the most notable finding being a more than 63% reduction in the average force felt through the CarbonTek shoulder pad system in a 600 pound impact test."

You can find more information about CarbonTek with OS Technology™ at,,

DISCLAIMER: Russell Athletic commissioned Sports Science, Inc., to develop and conduct impact testing on various shoulder pad models including the CarbonTek Shoulder Pad. While the testing indicated that the CarbonTek Shoulder Pad offered improved impact management compared to the other shoulder pad models tested, no claim is made by Russell Athletic that the CarbonTek Shoulder Pad will reduce football injuries. No shoulder pad can eliminate the risk of serious injury while participating in football. The testing measured various impact force dispersion rates based on varying levels of consistent force applied to each pad. The level of force applied was determined to be typical of the range of impact players may experience while playing a live football game, with impact force dispersion measured at an average of six-hundred pounds (600 lbs.).