Unequal® was founded by Robert Vito when he was an adjunct professor in the Penn State Graduate Business Program. Teaching coursework on entrepreneurship and accounting to up-and-coming business professionals, Rob was challenged by a student who wondered whether bulletproof armor could be made lighter and more flexible.
After many years of research and over $10 million in investments, the answer is Unequal, a revolutionary composite being used by the military, law enforcement personnel and governmental agents that helps reduce risk of injury. The multilayer composite was tested under incredibly stringent guidelines issued by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the organization that certifies bullet-resistant armor.
Unequal, fortified with TriDur® aramid fabric (like DuPont Kevlar®), and other proprietary materials, not only helped to stop bullets but also dispersed the impact energy of projectiles laterally, using a slightly thinner, lighter package than what soldiers were used to. OEM facilities and university science programs then verified the effectiveness of Unequal’s shock-absorbing protective gear, which is now backed by extensive testing from independent, accredited laboratories and over 100 U.S. and international patents.
The technology developed to protect those that protect us was then adapted for sports applications. It first found favor in pro sports among NFL players and their football sons, who flocked to the company’s protective wear once they heard the likes of James Harrison and Kurt Warner were touting Unequal’s protective power. Unequal gear, including body armor, helmet supplemental padding and headgear is or has been worn by thousands of players in the NFL (Jordy Nelson helped protect his ribs in 2017 NFC Championship game with Unequal), MLB (David Ross, now retired, Salvador Perez, Buster Posey use Unequal), NHL (Boston Bruins swear by Unequal), NWSL (Ali Krieger, Carli Lloyd have worn Unequal), USLacrosse (Jan 2017 USL Magazine editorializes about Unequal)… and colleges, universities, leagues, clubs, high schools, etc. For action sports competitors at the X Games and Olympics, Unequal has been sought after organically by elite athletes competing in multiple winter game events (Half-Pipe, Luge, Slopestyle, Downhill), giving those athletes an edge. Seeing Sarka Pancochova’s head slam the icy surface in a horrific fall in the 2014 Olympics, yet ski away and be cleared through concussion protocol the next day, speaks volumes. Unequal simply deals with blunt force trauma and impact shock and reduces acceleration differently and better than typical plastic and foam. It seriously reduce risk of injury for athletes dealing with the abuse that comes with collision sports and action sports wipeouts.
Unequal has received several prominent awards for innovation in the field of protective sportswear. The company was recognized by Forbes as one of the magazine’s 100 Most Promising Companies. Thanks to our work with DuPont, the manufacturing company presented Unequal with its Kevlar® Innovation Award. Esquire, ESPN, and Inc. Magazine have all listed the company and its products among the most important tech innovations ever in sports. Perhaps the most interesting recognition came when Tom Cruise himself called, asking that Unequal outfit his entire stunt team for the movies Edge of Tomorrow and Mission Impossible 5.