McDavid (sports apparel)

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Founded Bellwood, Illinois (1980)
Founder Bob McDavid and Terence Fee
Headquarters Woodridge, Illinois
Key people
Bob McDavid (CEO)
Products Sports safety apparel
Website Official website

McDavid, Inc. is a producer of athletic gear and protective equipment founded in 1980.

Company overview[edit]

The company’s origins began in 1969 when the first widely used lateral protective knee brace for athletes was designed and produced by Dr. Robert F. McDavid, the father of the company founder. In 1980 his son, Bob McDavid, officially co-founded the company McDavid Inc. to sell his braces and other sports equipment, alongside Terence Fee (currently vice-president of operations.) The company was founded in Bellwood, Illinois and run out of the co-founder’s basement. Bob McDavid remains the CEO of the company.[1][2]

McDavid first produced prophylactic braces for joints including the ankle, knee, upper extremities, neck, and eventually most other at risk areas of the body.[3] By the mid-1980s McDavid had revenues of about $1 million, selling knee and ankle braces mainly to athletes from the high school to professional level.[4] It was one of the first companies to produce single-hinge braces as opposed to those with a double-hinge sold by McDavid competitors.[5] In addition to braces, McDavid also produces a line of sports clothing, pads, and sports equipment sold in three lines: SportMed (composed of braces, sleeves, wraps, guards, and straps), Sports Protection (for pads, supports, and other cushioning products), and Performance Apparel (its sports clothing and equipment line).[1] Hex technology items, where closed cell foam padding is sewn directly into the fabric of sports clothing to protect at-risk parts of the body.[6] In April 2014 NBA player DeAndre Jordan became a spokesperson for McDavid.[7] Dwyane Wade was also a spokesperson for the company.[8]

Preventative use[edit]

A 1992 study published in the Journal of Athletic Training showed that there was only an insignificant difference in the effect a McDavid ankle brace had on athlete agility and performance when compared to ankle tape, however there was a four to one cost differential in favor of using the brace.[9] A 2012 study showed that the use of a McDavid ankle brace created a two-thirds reduction in ankle injuries among high school athletes.[10] In 1991 McDavid knee braces were also shown to have preventative effects on knee injuries when worn during games and practices by professional football players, however the efficacy of preventative use in high school and college was shown to be inconclusive in 1993. Both studies were published in The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.[11][12] The McDavid football neck collar was shown in 2008 to reduce neck trauma in collisions to the head area, redistributing force of impact onto the shoulders and upper torso.[13]

Use in rehabilitation[edit]

McDavid braces have been used in the rehabilitation of joint injuries in both athletes and non-athletes. Post-surgery or non-surgical treatment, braces are used to keep the injured tendons, muscles, or ligaments from enduring undue stress. While studies have not shown that braces necessarily speed the recovery time after an injury, athletes often choose to continue wearing the brace even after they have recovered from their medical treatment, in order to increase their confidence in returning to competition.[14]


  1. ^ a b "About McDavid". Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "McDavid". Businessweek. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Douglas McKeag & James L. Moeller (2007). ACSM's Primary Care Sports Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 574. 
  4. ^ Brian Landman (October 9, 1986). "Do Knee Braces Cut Down On Injuries?". The Evening Independent. p. Section C, page 1. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (October 2, 1983). "Teams experiment with new brace". Sunday Star-News. p. 8D. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Vince Checks Out McDavid Company's Hex Sports Gear". CBS. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "McDavid to Partner with DeAndre Jordan". Travel & Leisure Close-Up. April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dwyane Wade re-ups deal with McDavid". ESPN. January 20, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ David L. Paris (1992). "The Effects of the Swede-O, New Cross, and McDavid Ankle Braces and Adhesive Ankle Taping on Speed, Balance, Agility, and Vertical Jump". J Athl Train. Journal of Athletic Training. 27: 255. PMC 1317255Freely accessible. PMID 16558170. 
  10. ^ Eric M. Babins (2012). "Lace-Up Ankle Braces Reduced Acute Ankle Injuries in High School Basketball Players". Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. p. 379. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ Robert W. Jackson; et al. (1991). "An Evaluation of Knee Injuries in a Professional Football Team-Risk Factors, Type of Injuries, and the Value of Prophylactic Knee Bracing". Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 
  12. ^ Mario MS Schootman; et al. (1993). "Efficacy of Preventive Knee Braces in Football: Epidemiological Assessment". Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 
  13. ^ Stephen BS Rowson (2008). "Biomechanical Analysis of Football Neck Collars". Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 
  14. ^ John D. Hsu; John Michael & John Fisk (2008). AAOS Atlas of Orthoses and Assistive Devices. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 387. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]