Bill Simpson has turned his helmet expertise toward reducing the number of concussions in football. Simpson has been manufacturing helmets for motorsports for years, turning his experience as a drag racer and a driver in the Indianapolis 500 into safer equipment for use at the track, but it wasn't until he met Tom Moore that Simpson began thinking about making football safer. At the time, Moore was working as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. Moore offered up a few tickets to a game in 2010, and Simpson went. During the game, Colts receiver Austin Collie took a hard hit and wound up out cold.
After the game, Simpson asked for a few helmets for testing and found the gear to be sub par. While some of his work in the motorsports world translates to making safer football helmets, the two sports are very different. One principal remains the same, however: lighter helmets reduce brain injury. As a result, Simpson's prototypes use plenty of light-weight materials, and his youth version weighs about half as much as the current industry standard. Next, Simpson says he'll turn his attention to lacrosse helmets.