The NFL’s Favorite Helmet Manufacturer Is Running Out of Money

Vicis makes helmets for NFL stars like Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes

The NFL's Favorite Helmet Manufacturer Is Running Out of Money
The Vicis Zero1 helmet technology on display. (Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Employees at Vicis, a Seattle startup that manufactures helmets for NFL stars like Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes, were informed around Thanksgiving that the firm is running out of money, according to The New York Times

In a letter to investors including Wilson and Aaron Rodgers (who does not wear a Vicis helmet himself), company chief executive Ralph Greene Jr. said the manufacturer needs “to raise capital in order to continue operating, or we may have no other option but to wind down all operations.”

Vicis, which was able to raise more than $90 million from venture capitalists and high-profile players like Wilson and Rodgers just last year, will now attempt to raise more money by selling shares that valued the company at just $5 million.

Already struggling to stay in business, Vicis is struggling to fulfill some orders and expects to lose $26 million this year, according to internal company documents.

Around the same time as Vicis employees were informed about the company’s financial issues, former CEO Dave Marver announced he would be stepping down after co-founding the startup six years ago.

“It’s not uncommon for founder/CEOs to depart at this point,” Marver told GeekWire via email. “The board met recently and thought this was the right time to make a transition. I have felt such a profound obligation to Vicis’ employees and investors, and all of our customers, that I have worked too much … beyond what’s reasonable. It’s time for a pause.”

The company’s $950 high-tech football helmet, called the Zero 1, is built with shock absorbers that are designed to mitigate the impacts that are believed to cause concussions.

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