SOURCE: Full90 Sports

September 13, 2005 08:20 ET

Mitsui & Company Invests in the Future of Head Protection in Soccer

Mitsui to Help Full90 Sports Expand Globally

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 13, 2005 -- Full90 Sports, a maker of head protection for soccer players, today announced that it has entered into a comprehensive agreement with Japan-based Mitsui & Company, a $29b entity with over 170 offices worldwide.

Mitsui & Company made a strategic investment in Full90 Sports. Mitsui will also serve as a manufacturer and exclusive master distributor for Asia, including China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

"We have tracked Full90's progress for almost two years, and are very pleased to utilize our global resources to expand Full90's market potential worldwide," said Haruo Iwasaki, General Manager of Investment Business for the Lifestyle Business Unit, Mitsui & Co. A New FIFA funded study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that Full90 Sports flagship product, the F90 Performance Headguard™, significantly reduced impact forces and the probability of concussion in certain instances, such as head-to-head impacts. There are approximately 200 million soccer players worldwide and 10 million in the US.

"We are pleased to enter this partnership with Mitsui & Company. It allows Full90 to dramatically increase our presence around the world," said Jeff Skeen, CEO of Full90 Sports. "With the 2002 introduction of head protection in soccer, Full90 Sports has been widely seen as pioneering the use of soft padded head protection. We're happy that Mitsui is a believer in soccer headgear."

The use of head protection is now becoming widely accepted as numerous medical studies indicate that concussions are just as prevalent as in other contact sports such as American football and hockey. Head protection is now being promoted by seven state youth soccer associations and mandated by numerous youth soccer clubs in the US. Eight players representing four countries wore Full90 Headguards in the Summer 2004 Olympics and many professional players around the world are wearing head protection.

About Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries engage in general trading business. It involves in a range of global business activities, including worldwide trading of various commodities; arranging financing for customers and suppliers in connection with its trading activities; organizing and coordinating industrial projects; participating in financing and investing arrangements; assisting in the procurement of raw materials and equipment; providing technologies and processes for manufacturing; and coordinating transportation and marketing of finished goods. The company's trading activities include the sale, distribution, purchase, marketing, and supply of various products, including iron and steel, nonferrous metals, machinery, electronics, chemicals, energy-related commodity and products, food products, textiles, general merchandise, and real estate. Further, it develops natural resources, such as oil and gas, and iron and steel raw materials. In addition, the company invests in areas, such as information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, as well as provides financial services to minimize its customers' business risks, through the use of derivatives and other hedging instruments. As of July 1, 2005, Mitsui had 20 branches and offices located in Japan; and 155 branches, offices, and trading subsidiaries located worldwide. The company offers its products and services in retailing, information and communications, technical support, transportation and logistics, and financing areas. The company was established in 1947 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Mitsui & Company's Lifestyle Unit will be managing the business relationship with Full90 Sports.

About Full90 Sports

Full90 Sports is credited with pioneering a new product category in soccer, protective headgear, on a worldwide basis. Full90's signature product, the Performance Headguard™, provides soccer players a heightened level of protection by reducing risks associated with to hard surface contact, without affecting their style of play. Unlike other headguards, the Full90 Performance Headguard™ was designed within the concept of Performance Protection Technology™ (PPT™), a new category and guideline process for developing protective athletic equipment that Full90 engineers pioneered. At its core, PPT combines applied physics, engineering and design with an appreciation for the youth athlete, as well as respect for the game of soccer.

Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) has conducted extensive tests on the Full90 Performance Headguards™ and documented the reduction of transmitted forces in typical head impacts in soccer.

Contact Information

  • Full90 Sports Contact:
    Matt Farrell
    Director of Media Relations
    Neale-May & Partners
    212-213-5400, ext. 217