Detroit-based helmet maker Xenith LLC will be the exclusive helmet provider for Rivals Professional Football League athletes, the Detroit-based development league announced April 20.
The football helmets will feature Xenith's patented floating shock suspension system that allows the helmet shell and athlete's head to move independently. It's designed to help reduce head movement during impact, according to the news release. The helmet company is co-owned by Dan Gilbert.
Xenith works with molder Sturgis Molded Products of Sturgis, Mich., for its helmet production in Detroit.
RPFL founder and CEO Quentin Hines said the deal will serve the league's eight teams in the northern and southern conferences. He expects Xenith to provide about $1 million in helmets and shoulder pads over the next five years.
Xenith supplied equipment for 160 players on four teams playing in the southern conference's season based in Florida, which began March 25 and ends April 29. The northern conference's season will run June to August. The number of players who will play in the northern conference in metro Detroit will be decided after training camp, Hines said.
"We haven't put a number on it yet. There is a variable based on how much equipment we will need," he said. "This is our first big deal and there are no other deals like this with any other football development programs."
Hines, a Detroit native and former New England Patriots running back, founded the league in 2014 to offer game experience and film for players 18 and older. The league allows the players to use the development league to market themselves to the NFL, CFL and AFL.