How This Detroit Startup Built a Company to Keep Athletes Safer

“A relentless pursuit to protect athletes” is what drives Xenith, an industry leader in football helmet technology. Before Xenith, decades passed with only minimal innovation in helmet design, president Ryan Sullivan says. The company’s mission, he adds, is to “develop the most advanced protective equipment, from helmets to shoulder pads and other accessories.”

They proudly make their gear in Detroit and outfit athletes of all ages and skill levels. “We could assemble helmets for a youth organization across the country and, later that day, make one for a Detroit Lion right down the street,” Ryan notes.

“The web is very important to us, both as a sales channel and for overall brand awareness.”

Ryan Sullivan, president

Xenith launched in 2006 and had their first helmets on the field three years later. “Today, we’re third in the market for football helmets. We’re also the fastest growing,” Ryan says. The company doubled their revenue from 2014 to 2016 and sells their products to hundreds of thousands of customers around the world. Web-enabled tools power their growth. AdWords, Google’s advertising program, is their go-to marketing tool, and when their products are in-season, over half of their online sales come through Google. They consult Google Analytics to measure their web traffic, gain customer insight, and make data-driven decisions. And YouTube enables them to share their brand anthem as well as tutorial-based videos showcasing their products. “There’s a real education process to inform potential customers about our products. YouTube is a great platform to grow our brand awareness and build our football community,” Ryan explains.

Xenith employs 130 people during peak season.

For the Xenith team, the most rewarding part of the job is being able to build relationships with sport communities worldwide and affect the lives of young athletes. For the 2016 high school season, the company supplied helmets to all Detroit public school teams, two of which won state championships. “Seeing our hometown teams, who wore our product, win state titles and have their parade go right past our office—that’s a pretty cool moment,” Ryan remarks. Committed to innovation and safety for all athletes, Xenith’s ambitions and vision for the future don’t stop in the football market. “We’re building a world-class company to help keep all athletes safer, and we’re doing it here in Detroit,” says Ryan.

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For more information on the Xenith case study, visit http://economicimpact.google.com.

Content provided by Google.

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