Football helmet maker Vicis shuts down, federal filing says

A total of 84 jobs will be cut as part of the closure of Vicis, a Seattle company that has gained national fame for its cutting-edge protective football helmet.

The layoffs were revealed in a notice the company recently filed under federal law. WARN Actindicating that the job cuts took effect on December 20. The layoffs are permanent as part of a business closure, the WARN notice says.

“Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to attract the necessary capital to sustain our operations,” the Vicis website states.

Vicis’ inaugural product was the Zero1 football helmet, unveiled in 2017 and ranked first in 2017 and 2018 NFL/NFLPA Helmet Laboratory Performance Testing. The Zero1 helmet is now used by more than 150 professional and college teams as well as some 1,200 high school football programs across the country.

The New York Times reported in mid-December that the company appeared to be running out of cash. A letter to shareholders written in November by Vicis new general managerRalph Green Jr., and commented by the newspaper said, “Our employees are currently furloughed and we need to raise capital to continue operating, or we may have no choice but to end all the operations.”

The company received $1.1 million in grants from the NFL, which had no stake in Vicis, the Time reported. Vicis helmets are worn by NFL stars like Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes.

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