How Plastics Made Their Way into the NFL
Plastics find application in virtually every industry, ranging from aerospace and agriculture to retail and recreation. Industry professionals employ plastic materials, such as sheeting or film, in the manufacture of a variety of products for both functional and aesthetic purposes.
At Adams Plastics, we specialize in vinyl film, laminates, and synthetic leather. With these quality materials, our customers create custom decals, labels, and graphic products for use in a diverse set of industries, including the professional sports industry.
A History of the Modern Football Helmet
Initially, football players did not use any protective headgear during games. It wasn’t until the turn of the twentieth century that they began wearing leather caps to mitigate the risk of severe injury. Over time, manufacturers started developing helmets that offered both protection and comfort. Through numerous design iterations, the modern football helmet was born—a device carefully designed and manufactured to keep players safe from serious head and face injuries such as concussions.
In contrast to the leather used in early protective headgear, plastic serves as the primary material used in the construction of these more modern helmets. In addition to providing greater durability and shock and impact absorption, the material also provides a smooth surface for teams to personalize the helmets with custom decals.
Sports leagues, such as the NFL, use customized decorative decals to add team logos and other identification information to make individual members more recognizable and marketable. Compared to stickers, the decals are specially designed to establish a seamless finish and survive wear and tear throughout multiple games.
How to Apply Vinyl Decals
While vinyl helmet decals are created to withstand use across multiple games, optimizing their longevity necessitates proper application. When applying decals to a helmet, there are few considerations to keep in mind to ensure the establishment of a long-lasting hold, such as:
- Using a high-quality decal. Teams should order decals from a reputable decal supplier—one that makes thick decals that offer greater resistance to ripping, tearing, wrinkling, and fading.
- Cleaning the application surface. Before applying a decal to a helmet, make sure the entire surface is clean and dry. Compounds such as dirt and water create a thin film between the adhesive layer and the helmet’s surface that prevents an adhesive bond from forming properly.
- Applying polishing wax after decal application. Ensure that all decals are added to a helmet before subjecting it to polishing. Similar to dirt and water, polishing wax can decrease the effectiveness of a decal’s adhesive.
Vinyl Decal Design Options
In addition to featuring a custom graphic design, vinyl decals can vary in regard to finish. Some of the finish options available include:
- Chrome finishes with a metallic sheen
- Matte finishes with a non-shiny surface
- Metallic flake finishes for a glittery look that intermittently captures light
These customization choices, among others, allow teams to achieve a look that matches the aesthetic of their marketing or branding.
At Adams Plastics, we proudly supply high-quality materials to customers who produce custom helmet decals, including those used by NFL teams. The decals featuring our materials are completely personalized and built to showcase striking details and colors that make every player identifiable even from the top of the stadium seats.
Get in Touch With the Plastic Suppliers at Adams Today
Adams Plastics provides high-quality vinyl rolls that can be used in a wide range of applications, such as on football helmets. In addition to finding use in decals, they are also commonly used in labels, stickup pockets, and other graphic product applications that use converted plastics. While we specialize in vinyl, we can supply other materials upon customer request, such as PVC film, laminate, and imitation leather.