Xenith X Logo


Shipping Update

Most Orders Ship Same Day

  • Blog
  • >
  • Xenith Granted $412,000 from NFL Helmet Challenge

Xenith Granted $412,000 from NFL Helmet Challenge

xenith x logo

June 30th, 2020

NFL Grants Xenith Proposal for Official Helmet Technology Challenge

Fully Awarding Grant Request of $412,000 Towards Xenith Innovation


June 30, 2020 (DETROIT, MI) – Today, the NFL announced that Xenith will be a competitor in the HeadHealthTech NFL Helmet Challenge, and that they will grant Xenith’s proposal for $412,000 in full towards their submission, Project Orbit.
“Xenith – and our team of partners – is proud to have received such strong support from the NFL for our next-generation helmet project,” said Grant C. Goulet, PhD, Xenith Vice President of Product Innovation. “The technological advancements we are working on now will propel helmet innovation forward and be used across multiple levels of play. There is no finish line. From youth to the NFL, we want all athletes to benefit from the work we are doing right now,” added Ron Jadischke, PhD, Xenith Chief Engineer.
Xenith makes exclusively “Top-Performing” helmets that exceed even the most stringent laboratory tests, including their newest flagship offering, Xenith Shadow XR. However, their athlete-centric approach to design, engineering, and development, transcends the lab utilizing athlete insights and a holistic view of the athlete’s experience on the field including areas of comfort, fit, and balance.

The Team
Xenith fosters a collaborative spirit and design-thinking mindset to product innovation. In addition to the world-class expertise Xenith has built in-house, they have secured best-in-class partners and global pioneers in energy control, material science, and additive manufacturing.
Xenith is spearheading the NFL Helmet Challenge team efforts, working closely with BASF, RHEON Labs, and The University of Waterloo. Xenith has long-term relationships with each of these partners, now leveraging their respective areas of expertise all in one product for the very first time.
Material science experts BASF helped develop the novel polymer shell found in Xenith Shadow and Xenith Shadow XR – an incredibly durable material that can withstand over 10,000 impacts. Xenith also worked with BASF on the protective KINETIX material found in the first ever purpose-built protective headgear for non-tackle football, Xenith LOOP.
Xenith began working with The University of Waterloo after the development of the Xenith X2E finite element model, sponsored by the NFL in 2016. Xenith and The University of Waterloo worked together on research projects that explored the effects of helmet mass on impact performance. In that vein, Waterloo will contribute to material testing, finite element modeling, and simulations for Project Orbit.
In 2019, Xenith entered a partnership with RHEON Labs – an ingredient brand based in the UK whose technology powers the energy control layer in Xenith Shadow XR. Together they created a unique energy control cell that cushions low-speed impacts, but intelligently strengthens for high-speed impacts. These RHEON™ cells compress to absorb linear impact and shear to optimally control rotational impact energy, reducing the resulting acceleration of the head.
Xenith, RHEON™ and The University of Waterloo will combine the chemistry of RHEON™ technology and the simulation capabilities of UofW to digitally iterate an optimal geometry for the protective layer of Project Orbit.
BASF will leverage their deep expertise and experience in 3D printing to co-develop and produce components to optimize fit and athlete comfort.
The Challenge
The NFL Helmet Challenge is an innovation challenge that aims to stimulate the development by experts, innovators and helmet manufacturers of a new helmet for NFL players that outperforms, based on laboratory testing, all helmet models currently worn by NFL players.
The challenge will culminate in July 2021 with the applicants submitting helmet prototypes for testing in laboratory conditions that represent potentially concussive impacts in the NFL. Applicants will compete for up to a $1 million award.
About Xenith
Xenith creates top-rated football helmets, non-tackle headgear, equipment, and apparel designed to elevate the athlete’s pursuit. Their athlete-first design approach is backed by rigorous science, engineering, and innovation which transcends laboratory testing to address on-field needs. Xenith outfits the athlete from head to ankle in a suite of performance products for playing, training, and living.
All Xenith helmets are Five-Star rated on the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings System, and score in the “Top-Performing Group” of the NFL Helmet Laboratory Testing Performance Results. Xenith is committed to democratizing protection by making top-rated helmets, shoulder pads, and gear available at an equitable price point for anyone who wants to play football – from youth, to varsity, to the pros. Xenith’s training and compression apparel give athletes the extra edge they demand to take their game to the next level.
Xenith sees football as a force for good in the community, and executes this vision with passion, purpose, and pride. For more information, please visit xenith.com.
Media contact:
Xenith Brand Communications & PR Manager, Jamie Sherman // jsherman@xenith.com