Welcome Our New Partner James Skalski
In the past few years, Kato Collar has been worn by football players at all levels – high school through pro – but it has made a significant positive impact on the performance of championship-winning collegiate linebacker James Skalski during his past two seasons. Today we are thrilled to announce a partnership with James to help raise awareness of innovations in football safety and how Kato Collar can help provide protection against head and neck injuries for players at all levels.
James is a returning team captain who enters the 2021 season credited with 210 career tackles (16.0 tackles for loss), 7.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 1,222 snaps over 56 games (25 starts) from 2016-20. Entering 2021, his 56 career games played already tied for ninth-most in school history and that is the only player ever to play in five Conference Championship Games. (Click here for more on James)
James is not only helping to raise awareness of player safety, but he is an affiliate of Kato Collar to help more players and teams can experience the benefits of Kato Collar with this innovative and integral part of shaping football’s future.
It is gratifying to see parents and coaches and players take safety seriously. We recently traveled to Menasha Wisconsin to chat with coaches and players about Kato Collar. Menasha is one of our Head Health Heroes.
Equipped with new helmets, soft caps in practice, careful training plans, Certified Athletic Trainers on the sideline, and Kato Collar, Menasha is doing the right thing for the safety of their players. There are 35 players wearing Kato Collar in their program as they have chosen to help us study and improve our technology while keeping kids on the field.
Coach Korth understands that players suffer when they are sidelined with brain injuries. He also understands that there is no silver bullet to solve this issue that crosses all levels of football and all positions. However, he does understand that, with the support of the football community, they can offer all of the technology available.
We understand that funds are a factor, we understand that misconceptions about how concussions can occur is a factor, and we understand that many people want to ignore the risks and hope for the best. The good news is that we are here to help guide and lead.
Contact us any time to discuss our Head Health Hero program, discuss what is going on in Menasha, talk about your program, or just chat about football.
We want to let them play!
Our Founding Story
Our founder, Jeff Chambers and CEO David Norris were interviewed by Eric Cox from Netcapital to discuss all things Kato Collar. Investing in a company can be daunting as you pour over numbers and spreadsheets. Sometimes you just need to hear the company’s story directly from the source. With Eric we talked about our founding, how we built out our team, the science behind Kato Collar, how it works and our future. The heart of this company is one story after another about player’s lives being changed through safety. Click on the link to watch the interview and find out how you can buy some equity and be part of this story.
Invest in football
Guardian Athletics is dedicated to keeping our great game of football vibrant though better safety. A well protected athlete plays with confidence and stays on the field. We are on the verge of great things and want you to be part of our future.
Our goal is to have Kato Collar be the next piece of mandatory technology on the football field. Our patented Kato Collar addresses a huge gap in player safety, the rapid acceleration and abrupt deceleration of the head. Current gear is great, we are taking it to the next level.
We have partnered with Netcapital as an investment platform to further out mission. Not all football fanatics have a huge investment budget and that is just fine. Click on this link and see how your passion for the game can make an impact on the field. Join Rich Gannon, NFL veteran and broadcast analyst, and others in being part of our story.
There is a ton of information on the other side of the link but if you need more detail, please reach out. We are football fans just like you.
I WANT TO KNOW MORE
Announcement: MN Cup & Guardian Athletics
We’ve got some big news!
Guardian Athletics has been named as a finalist for MN Cup 2019. MN Cup, a program of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurs at the Carlson School of Management, is a community-led, public-private partnership that brings together corporations, VCs, foundations, government, and skilled volunteers to support Minnesota’s entrepreneurs. Click here for the press release.
For a full list of the finalists, please click here. For press inquiries or more information, please contact Zeb Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Season Updates
Last season we shipped 1,000 Kato Collars to NFL, NCAA, and High School teams across the United States. When we asked the football community about KC’s launch, two themes emerged.
1. We need to quicken efforts to get more collars on teams. Many of you stressed the importance of the right gear used as not only a return-to-play tool but also getting in front of potential injuries before they happen.
2. Budgets are tight. With decreased resources available for your teams, greater flexibility is essential. At the same time, with increasing pressure from parents and others who question football’s safety, you’re accomplishing a lot with a little.
Launched earlier this summer, our rental program offers packs of collars from 25 to 80 with a 1-year rental agreement. We are accepting pre-orders for the remainder of this season that will ship in the coming weeks (you can sign up for updates here). We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received and thankful for the input from athletes that have helped guide us through the updated designs.
We’ve redesigned the pads. The former design utilized a post to connect to the pad, which we’ve replaced with a rivet. This new design is impervious to extreme heat and other stresses that the collar must endure during its life span. For those of you that have purchased a collar, we’ll be shipping you the replacement pads in the coming weeks.
Additional pad sizes will be available online for purchase. These make sure no matter your size, you have options to find the best fit, with .5″ pads available in addition to the standard 1″ pad.
The flange is redesigned, too. We heard concerns about the stress on the fabric, and we responded with a new design that has been tested to show a 300% increase in durability.
We’ll also offer a new medium collar for athletes that typically wear shoulder pads from Youth XL to Adult M. This offers a great opportunity for JV players to have access to our product, too.
If you would like to share your input with us, or if you have experienced issues with the current design, we want to hear from you. We are all about making sure we back up our product. Our customer service email address is email@example.com.
News: Startup Showcase
The Pioneer Press recently met with Jeff to talk through our company and Kato Collar for their Startup Showcase. Check out the article over on their site!
Read the Article Now
Announcing GA’s Opening Drive
Over the past months, we’ve started shipping our first 1000 collars to schools across the country. These schools are part of a movement in football: Innovation just isn’t moving fast enough and players and coaches are ready to take action.
We are excited to hear what the football community has to say about Kato Collar. And we’re also excited to see it appearing on national TV (keep your eyes peeled, maybe you will, too!) as players wear the collar during games. As we’ve launched, the feedback has been incredibly positive and we’re also learning more about how to keep pushing future innovations.
Each of you is crucial to the continuing development of our product line. And together, we’ll keep our players safer from burner/stingers and the risks of concussions.
These first 1000 collars are available at a discounted price of $199 with free shipping. Check ’em out over at the store or give us a call.
To read what people are saying, check out some of our testimonials here.
And also; don’t hesitate to connect with us for comments or questions!
Field Tester: Marcus Gooden
Marcus Gooden was a 5th year senior from Illinois who played linebacker and long snapper on punts and extra points for the 2015 Minnesota State Mavericks. He suffered from repeated burner/stingers, averaging 1-2 every game. Unfortunately, Marcus would have to leave for a series of plays to recover every time he sustained the injury in a game.
His Athletic Trainer at Minnesota State Mankato worked to prevent the injury from occurring through treatment, rehabilitation, and protection with other collars yet couldn’t prevent his burner/stinger from recurring. I worked with them to have Marcus wear our third prototype, and here’s what he had to say:
“My junior year I got a pretty bad stinger affecting my left shoulder and arm. Going into my senior year those stingers continued. I had one or two a game. I talked to Jeff, and he suggested I wear the collar. Deep into the season, I took his advice. As I wore the collar, I couldn’t believe it but, the stingers wore off. And I actually didn’t have any moving forward.”
This is why I developed our flagship product: To help players like Marcus stay on the field and to help protect from injuries.
The fear of concussions and other head injuries is preventing athletes of all ages from playing a game they love — football. Our passion was ignited when we realized that the industry simply wasn’t innovating fast enough.
Football has been passed down through generations and has built tight communities of athletes, coaches, and fans all around the world. While helmets provide a level of protection for the skull, the brain can still move and can cause head injuries, particularly concussions. Innovation in safety gear is lacking. And there’s a lack of products that properly address the frequency, severity, and recovery times tied to head and neck injuries.
Protect. Perform. Recover. It’s our mission. It’s in our DNA; our founder learned over the 35+ years working with athletes, particularly football players, that it’s not one simple element that creates a safer game. And as an organization, we believe that this systematic approach to the safety of athletes is how we can play a role in reducing the risk of injuries, concussions, and other contributors to CTE, not to mention helping eliminate burners and stingers.
Using our experience, innovative design, comprehensive testing, and technology, our launch product — Kato Collar — focuses on the deceleration of the brain after the initial impact of a hit. The collar slows down the head, which keeps the brain from reaching those extreme points where injuries occur after an impact of any kind. Movement of the brain can lead to bruising, which leads to a concussion. Kato Collar’s unique design decelerates the head after impact by up to 30% and reduces the forces that are believed to cause concussions.
We designed Kato Collar to give players confidence in their safety and technique to help them move faster on the field and let them play the game they love. Proper tackling and blocking techniques are also fundamental to protection and confidence in the game.
We won’t stop innovating and learning more about how to let them play.
Football is in our DNA. After years of research, prototyping, and development we’ve launched a product like none other. Our team works to create confidence with the football community to help players at all level of play, inspiring the next generation of athletes. With the launch in ’17 of Kato Collar, our flagship product, we’re defining how we can prevent and protect our athletes.
Science and physics are key components that support our mission and inspire our products. We see the techniques being taught through programs such as Heads Up as fundamental to protection and confidence in the game. Our product not only gives players confidence in their safety and technique but will help their confidence when playing and keep them moving quickly on the field. Anyone that plays knows, you can’t slow down on the field.
Our passion was ignited when we realized that the industry is not moving fast enough to keep players safer on the field. We couldn’t wait for a revolution, so we decided to start our own. We want to protect our game — the game we love — and the game we pass on to our kids and grandkids.
We build better gear for our players, and we’re not stopping at football. Protection is our core belief. After all, guardian is in our name.