CLIENT STORIES

First they danced around each other as direct competitors, then they danced together in union.

 
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WHEN TWO FIERCE SPORTS RIVALS JOIN THE SAME TEAM

McDavid’s roots stretch back to 1969 when Dr. Robert F. McDavid, Jr. created a knee-brace to help a Notre Dame football player through a crucial game. After a period of grassroots growth, Dr. McDavid’s son, Bob McDavid, had graduated from Notre Dame, experimented in corporate America and (in 1980) incorporated McDavid Knee Guard, Inc.

BOB
MCDAVID

I first met Jim in 2003 through a mutual friend who had sent me one of his whitepaper’s on the sporting goods industry.
 
 

JIM
D'AQUILA

McDavid has always been an esteemed brand in sports medicine, sports protection and the performance apparel business. But, what made McDavid so special was its authenticity and international distribution. McDavid products were in every pro-sport and NCAA locker room in America and their international distribution was proprietary and far reaching.
 
 

BOB
MCDAVID

Jim has been around the sporting goods industry most of his career. He seemed to quickly grasp what McDavid offered to both the elite athlete and weekend warrior aspects of the market.

Over the course of a decade, a small sports company became much larger and a relationship endured.
McDavid launched its patented Hex Technology in 2004 and, in doing so, it redefined the protective
apparel industry and stood Nike on its toes.

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BOB
MCDAVID

All the time we launched new products and expanded our global reach, Jim stood by our side and gave us valuable guidance on how to position McDavid in the best possible light from an M&A perspective.
 
 

ADEEL
AHMAD

McDavid’s organic growth curve was always robust and Bob’s vision for the brand was clear. In situations like this, there is no reason for a founder to exit their business, until they want to retire.
 

BOB
MCDAVID

By 2013, I was staring down my mid-60s. My business partner Terry and I started to talk to Jim about placing our business in the hands of a new owner.
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The best marriages are often the union of two people you never thought would get along. 

 
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JIM
D'AQUILA

Shock Dr. and McDavid always went head to head in the retail market and in the locker rooms. These two competitors, often pitted directly against each other, left all the others in the sports protection industry (including Nike) in the dust.
 
 

BOB
MCDAVID

Shock Dr. has always been a fierce competitor, but a company I deeply respect. By the time we decided to sell McDavid, Shock Dr. had partnered with a well-funded private equity firm and had made several add-on acquisitions. Tony Armand, the leader of United Sports Brand (Shock Dr.’s parent), made it known early in the process that he wanted to win the jump ball I had Jim throw in the air. And, at the end of it all, his team left the court the winner.
 
 

JIM
D'AQUILA

Tony Armand and the team at Bregal Capital won this deal because they fully embraced the international reach that McDavid distribution arm in Asia and Europe could achieve for United Sports Brand’s existing products. Tony also understood the benefits of McDavid and Shock Dr. working closely together rather than competing head to head.
 

TWO ALL-STARS ON THE SAME TEAM

 
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Today, Bob McDavid is Chairman and a shareholder of United Sports Brand, the parent company of Shock Dr., McDavid, Nathan Sports and Cutter Gloves. Tony Armand is the CEO and Shock Dr. and McDavid are the leading companies in the global sports medicine and sports protection industry.