Riddell DE&I

A Work-in-Progress Update on our DE&I Initiatives

A Letter from Riddell President & CEO Dan Arment

While you’ve heard monthly from us on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), it’s been one year since I’ve last summarized our work, and thought now is an ideal moment-in-time for us to reflect on what we have accomplished.

We have made great strides in our DE&I programming, but acknowledge we’re still a work-in-progress. In this communication, I’d like to highlight several examples of advancements as well as foreshadow how the investment we’re making today will help us achieve more in this area.

A catalyst for our steps ahead has been the formation of our Riddell Inclusion Committee (RIC), which narrowed its focus to amplifying causes, holidays, and initiatives, that drive important conversations and are those that our team cares about. This was done by having the RIC take the lead on the creation of content for our monthly DE&I newsletter, which includes history and context, informational resources, teammate spotlights, and relevant highlights from around the organization.

Building on the momentum of the RIC, Riddell recently introduced our first employee resource group, Women’s Affinity Group (WAG), with the mission of:

Recognizing the instrumental part women play at Riddell, we strive to empower, develop, and celebrate female employees in all roles. Acting as a resource for #TeamRiddell, our hope is to provide a support system to foster connections among female employees, opportunities for professional development, and exposure to the broader sports business industry and beyond.

 This organization-wide initiative will further unite the women of Riddell, provide opportunities for allyship throughout our employee base, and amplify the work of this vital community in the game.

In keeping with the theme, we’ve also expanded our existing relationship with the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC). This month, we’ll be on-site for the Title IX Cup including support of the Girls Ball spotlighting “I Got Her Back”, a fundraiser for the “Keep Her In The Game” grant to ensure access to football for every girl and woman that wants to play. In addition, through USA Football, Riddell will again equip the U.S. Women’s National Team as they take on the world in Finland later this summer.

As demonstrated through our relationship with the WNFC, we have both strengthened existing partnerships and established new ones to ensure we’re promoting underrepresented groups within the game of football. Earlier this year, we partnered with the Black College Football Hall of Fame, serving as the official protective equipment sponsor of the inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl, which showcased some of the best NFL draft-eligible players from HBCUs. The game was broadcasted on NFL Network and the national exposure led to four HBCU players being drafted in this year’s NFL Draft, after zero were selected in 2021. Riddell also participated in a career in sports panel and job fair as part of the week-long HBCU Legacy Bowl activities.

Beyond the partnership, Riddell has collaborated with donors to provide new equipment at the HBCU level. In fact, we helped Hall of Famer and TV personality, Michael Strahan, give back to his Texas Southern alma mater where they wore new helmets for homecoming last season.

We also recently announced the “Career Boost” program in partnership with the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) to provide new opportunities for aspiring equipment managers. The program is designed to serve individuals from diverse backgrounds, women, and those with demonstrated need, to help them pursue AEMA certification and a role in an equipment room near you. The recipients of this recognition will join Riddell as our guests at the annual AEMA convention and will also receive an equipment grant for a sports program of their choosing.

This is all progress we’re proud of, but we know that our work and learning must continue. That’s why we’ve expanded our engagement with Blue Ocean Brain (BOB) around DE&I topics as well as incorporating lessons about mental health, professional growth, leadership, and teamwork, among others. Weekly BOB content is also now available to our deskless workforce via QR code and featured in both English and Spanish to reach more of our teammates.

We have been accelerating the use of Riddell’s social media channels like LinkedIn to provide a platform to not only showcase our efforts but also more visibly demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive company to work for and do business with.

Thank you for the part you have already played in Riddell’s DE&I journey and thank you in advance for how you’ll help us continue making progress.

    -Dan Arment