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iFutbol Fever!When a leading Mexican university needed to equip a new weight room and get all new training equipment, they turned to Rogers Athletic
© June 2008
As everyone knows, soccer is king in the Mexican sporting world. But did you know that football as we know it, Fútbol Americano to Mexicans, has been played south of the border at the collegiate and professional levels since the 1920’s and today enjoys widespread popularity? Or that the top conference in the ONEFA (the primary collegiate league) is known as Doce Grandes – the Big 12? Or that an ONEFA All-Star team beat a NCAA Division III All-Star team in 2003 to capture the annual Aztec Bowl?
The NFL discovered the extent of the game’s popularity among Mexican fans when, in 1994, over 112,000 fans packed Aztec Stadium in Mexico City for a pre-season contest between the Cowboys and the Oilers. Since then, Fútbol Americano has become widely accepted as a participation sport for Mexican youth and a spectator sport at the collegiate level where stadiums are regularly packed for Saturday contests in the fall.
A good example of what’s happening on the collegiate level is the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, which is Mexico’s third largest university with over 110,000 students. At UANL, according to Head Coach Pedro Morales, football is alive and well. “Football is very popular,” said Morales, who is also a medical doctor and serves as the team physician for the entire football program. “We have three university teams that play nationally at different levels and also have 12 high school and 12 professional school teams that are part of our program. In total, we have about 1,800 players.” The University’s top-level team, the Auténticos Tigres, is a member of the Doce Grandes and competes in the premier Liga Mayor, or Major League.
Despite the program’s size, they were severely lacking the proper equipment to train their players and reach a new level of performance. “We had one piece of equipment – a very old sled,” recalled Coach Morales. “We wanted to achieve our goal of being an excellent football program, but we did not have the tools that our coaches and players needed.”
Recognizing a need to start from scratch and armed with a commitment from UANL administration to fund equipment purchases that would, in his words, “increase the strength, power, agility, flexibility and cardiovascular resistance of our players,” Coach Morales called Rogers Athletic.
John Green, Sales Manager of Rogers, immediately went to work learning about UANL and assessing their needs. “Coach Morales was looking for the best and most technique-effective equipment for his teams – equipment that could benefit all of the players at all of their different levels of play,” said Green. “UANL had two needs – to improve its teams’ football techniques and their overall team strength. I worked Coach Morales through the details on how Rogers equipment could fulfill both of those needs, not just for their current teams but for many years to come.”
Working with UANL gave Rogers the opportunity to showcase their knowledge, customer service, dedication to football fundamentals and the full spectrum of the finest football and strength training equipment available anywhere. “Not only were we able to provide UANL with football practice equipment that helps coaches teach players fundamentals, but it also helps protect their athletes by limiting the amount of live contact,” said Rogers’ Green. Two semi loads of Rogers football training equipment were soon on their way to Monterrey.
In particular, Rogers demonstrated their commitment to personally servicing their customers’ needs by helping UANL custom-design their new weight room facility. “I flew down to Monterrey to work with the coaching staff and the University President to complete the weight room renovation,” recalled Green. “In the weight room, we were able to work together to lay out their floor plan and create an atmosphere that will instill team spirit, attract future recruits and, most importantly, build championship athletes. UANL purchased eight Dual Brute Racks with Monster Arms, eight Monster Machines, ten pieces of the new Pendulum equipment and all the accessories, so this is obviously a major upgrade for their program that should put them way ahead of their competition.”
Coach Pedro Morales is impressed. “Our new equipment,” he said, “is specific for football programs and it is the most intelligently-designed equipment that will accomplish this purpose,” he said. “Our goal is to be an excellent football program, and our new Rogers equipment will help our coaches and players achieve the high goals we have set.”
Will the addition of a complete line of Rogers Athletic football training and strength training equipment bring the UANL Tigres a championship? It’s too early to say, but John Green of Rogers will be following their progress. “We outfitted a very impressive weight room that will strengthen their players today and help attract future players plus we gave them essential tools for on-the-field drills and skill training,” said Green. “Football will continue to grow in Mexico. It will be great to watch UANL’s progress in football and to know that we played a role in their success.”
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